Published: 05:00, 28 April 2022
| Updated: 14:51, 04 May 2022
A self-branded "laughing accountant" and former Britain's Got Talent contestant famed for sniffing Simon Cowell is on a mission to get the nation smiling.
Genny Jones, 60, chuckled her way to victory during the national heats of the World Laughter Championships and will now represent the UK in the final next month.
Genny Jones, aka the "Confident Queen", discusses her appearance at the World Laughing Championship
Genny formerly featured on Britain's Got Talent with her trademark over-sized heart-shaped sunglasses and yellow arm-warmers,
During her successful 2012 audition she was egged on by judge David Walliams to "smell" music mogul Simon Cowell and even got dancer Alesha Dixon up on her feet to a rendition of a nursery rhyme.
But it was thinking about another celebrity that recently helped her win through in yet another national competition.
Earlier this month, the happiness coach was selected to represent the UK in the World Laughter Championships after winning the heat.
Genny, who runs a laughing yoga class, says she can "turn on the laughter on tap" and was encouraged to take part by friend and fellow instructor, Pete Cann, the "The Laughter Man".
"We had to record out laughter, send it to them and then they decide who would go to represent for the UK in the heats," she explained.
"I wasn't too sure what to expect. I thought 'well I'm going to laugh' but with laughter yoga you don't tell jokes it's real and natural."
Such contests see competitors go head-to-head through a series of rounds based on different laughs which are judged on their "joyfulness, hilarity and letting go".
One such round included laughing while staring at an unfunny object – in Genny's case, a lamp.
But Genny, from Northfleet, says it's no joke, with all written cues and gags strictly prohibited. She added: "I had to pretend the lampshade was someone funny that I know so I could laugh at that.
"I was thinking of the celebrity Peter Andre. It's somebody that I really like and I was thinking very soon he's going to be in the Gravesend events they are having on July 30 and when they call me to dance with him, I'm just going to be laughing.
"That's what was in my mind – Peter Andre in a lampshade singing 'Mysterious Girl' – it's a bit random, isn't it?"
Another round was simply named "silent laughter" and contestants had to try their hardest to maintain a giggle without making any noise.
Accountant Genny added: "It was the hardest thing I've done. I really wanted to burst out laughing but I knew I was looking at other competitors and I thought they want me to laugh loud but I'm not going to.
"So I held that laugh for the minute and when the minute was up, I just let it out."
For the final, contestants face-off in a minute-long duel, or as Genny calls it, a "laugh off", and she has been busy preparing at home for the feat.
But she is also keen to encourage others to get involved and reap the benefits of laughing out load to help with self-confidence.
"It's good because when you laugh it just releases the happy juices, it gets you flowing and I just think everyone should do it," she added.
"I said my mission is to make people feel good."
Her tips are to practice daily, laugh with others and pick as bright and colourful an outfit as possible.
The "Confident Queen" is keen to give back to her community and regularly takes part in events such as Northfleet Carnival, Gravesham and Dartford festivals and various other local and national events.
She also uses her free time to run community projects such as Confident Children and the Happiness Project Kent.
Her inspiration to help others comes from her own loss of self-confidence following a split with an ex partner.
But Genny says she sees her "pain as a gain".
"After I got my divorce when I was really down, depressed, I felt so low," she added. "I felt as though I was down in the dumps.
"But I think when I managed to speak to people and get help I said my mission is to make people feel good.
"We all have bad times but we have to lift our head, smile, ask for help and just do some things, even if you feel silly because it all helps."
The final of the World Laughter Championships takes place on May 15. For more information and tickets click here.