Sarah Millican's empathetic approach – chatty, friendly, food-obsessed - conceals a gift for the sharp putdown that has helped turn her into one of the most popular stand-up comedians on the circuit. We’re thrilled that she’s now a QI regular, having made her fourth appearance on the show in the K series.
Born in South Shields, Sarah was quiet at school, read lots of books and worked hard. Married at 22, she went through a painful divorce. ‘Why did I marry the first man that liked me? It took a lot of therapy to get that one out. And a f*** of a lot of cake.’ In fact, it was her counsellor who persuaded her to earn a living as a comic. In 2005, she signed up to a performance workshop, and six months later performed her first stand-up gig. She had not been into a comedy club until that night.
In 2008 Sarah won the Best Newcomer award at the Edinburgh Festival Fringe for her debut show Sarah Millican’s Not Nice. For her second Edinburgh show Typical Woman, she sent out hundreds of questionnaires asking men and women about the opposite sex. Certain gender stereotypes were debunked, while others were reinforced; a surprising number of men envied women's aromatic bathing rituals, while an entirely predictable number imagined playing with their own hypothetical breasts.
Now a regular visitor to TV panel shows, Sarah also has her own radio show Sarah Millican’s Support Group and a BBC chat show. But it’s performing that she loves: ‘On stage is the place I feel most at home. I’m much more relaxed than I am off-stage. I love talking to the audience, because those are the bits that make me feel alive, like a proper comedian as opposed to a funny writer.’
My mother told me, you don't have to put anything in your mouth you don't want to. Then she made me eat broccoli, which felt like double standards.
People were laughing at me anyway, so I thought - I'm gonna charge them!