Sarah Millican

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PostPosted: Wed Apr 08, 2009 3:05 pm    Post subject: Sarah Millican Reply with quote

Laughs are the best revenge
On a new path: Once shy and withdrawn, English comedian Sarah Millican now revels in her quirkiness.
Stephanie Bunbury
Photo: Simon Schluter
April 7, 2009

'I'M COMFORTABLE in my squareness," says Sarah Millican. Well, I could have guessed, especially once she tells me she has tickets to see Take That's revival show and sings along - very, very loudly - to Whitney Houston in the car. "But I'm proud of my appalling taste," she says. "I've kind of made a career out of being a bit odd, a little bit nerdy, a little bit ... you know. But my material seems to be accessible to everybody." Perhaps there's a Take That fan in all of us.

Millican began doing comedy when her husband of seven years announced, out of the blue as far as she was concerned, that he was leaving her. She was devastated, but determined not to become a basket case. "There were days when I felt I could do nothing," she says. "I think when anything major happens, you have that. And then there were days when I felt I could do anything."

It was on one of those days that she signed up for a series of classes teaching writers how to perform their own work. For the last class, she read a monologue about her own trauma. "In places it was really sad because it was just me, an outpouring of what I was thinking," she says. "And then, in other places, it was really funny."

Millican grew up in South Shields, in the north of England, and has the chewy accent to prove it. It was the sort of place, she says, where women were competitive about the smartness of the washing hanging on their backyard lines. There was nothing unusual about marrying at 22. "I was told there was one man for you, and I met someone who swept me off my feet, so I thought, 'OK - this is done now."' Except, of course, that it wasn't.

Nobody in South Shields expected her to become a comedian. She wouldn't have imagined it herself. At school she was the nerd who always handed in her homework on time. "I was quiet in class," she recalls. "Very bookish, very quiet, very studious and not many friends." When she started college, her mother urged her to get a job in a shop to bring her out of her shell. "It did. Something had to, because I was awfully in my shell."

It was her bookishness, however, that brought her to the brink of comedy. Before she signed up for those performance workshops, she had become a regular at a local theatre that held try-out nights for new writers; everyone would read 10 pages of a potential play and the audience would vote on which one they wanted to see expanded. She usually won, she says, because she wrote scripts that were funny "and people like to laugh". Her first full play was performed there in 2005. And that's when she discovered her driving talent: stand-up.

It was the performance teacher's idea. Millican hadn't seen inside a comedy club until the first night she appeared in one. At that stage, she and her husband were still living under the same roof, trying to sell their flat. It was purgatorial. Then she moved back with her parents, sleeping in her old bedroom. "There was a lot of fodder there, because my dad is sweet, but he would come out with the most inappropriate things, thinking he was helping. I remember sitting there crying and he said, 'Well, you're bound to be upset, because you've lost everything."'

Talking about her situation didn't embarrass her at all. "It felt really liberating. I sort of got a fire in my belly I hadn't had for a while." Taking control of the situation also helped. "For the first six months, it was totally therapy." In fact, she was having counselling at the same time. "My counsellor was brilliant, because I'd go in and talk about what was going through my head, and she'd say, 'You know that's a joke, don't you?"'

Four years on, Millican is settled into a new relationship with another comedian. There is no danger of breaking up under a shared roof; he lives in Birmingham while she's in Manchester. She's still a romantic, but a more realistic one. "My boyfriend took me to Blackpool for my birthday to see an Elvis impersonator." They had fish and chips, and she pushed the boat out with half a pint of shandy. "That was me done for the night. Brilliant."

And Take That still to come! Life for Sarah Millican is definitely looking up.

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Joined: 25 Apr 2006

PostPosted: Sat Aug 08, 2009 2:46 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

My seven secrets of survival: Sarah Millican, comedian
08 August 2009
By Gaby Soutar

1 Re-evaluate your life regularly. That way you'll never end up in a job, flat or relationship for too long. I did a talk at a comprehensive school a couple of years ago for a friend of mine who's a teacher and that was one of the pieces of advice I gave them. I also told them that they didn't have to go to university. Well, I didn't. The look on the teachers' faces was priceless. It's true, though. For some people, it isn't financially possible and they shouldn't be made to feel like they have less potential.

2 I think it's quite common to take advice from people of an older generation. They have more life experience and you can benefit from their wisdom. My Granda' was a major part of my life, until he died when I was 16 years old. This is what I learnt from him. My sister and I went shopping for slippers with him once. He bought size sevens, even though he was actually size eight. We asked him why and he said that after he'd washed them, he would dry them in the microwave and if, he got size eights, then the plate wouldn't turn round.

3 My dad is a very positive man by nature and a hard worker. He taught me that there's no such thing as "can't". The only thing you can't do is stick your bum out of your bedroom window and run downstairs, into the garden, and throw stones at it. Everything else is achievable. If you put your mind to it, you can do anything. Though, I sometimes give up too early when it comes to tight parking spaces.

4 It's a clich�, but I love chocolate. I eat it when I'm happy, sad, tired, bored, hungry, dopey, grumpy and Doc. I try to always keep some in my handbag because, if I don't have any at hand, I can think of little else. It's an addiction. But it's one that people don't frown on so much. Well, maybe my dentist, but she frowns on everything. You couldn't recommend the same for an alcoholic. "Always carry a hip flask in case you get bored". Not good advice.

5 If you can smell cheesy feet never accuse someone directly. Always use the word "somebody", or say, "Somebody's feet smell". He'll know you mean him.

6 Don't wear shiny jewellery if you're going to be swimming near sharks, as they may mistake it for fish scales. That's an actual survival tip. That means girls who wear too much jewellery will be the first to get eaten. Good.

7 No matter how romantic he thinks it is, never cut your boyfriend's toenails. You will have the job for life. Sometimes I think he's wearing his novelty monster feet slippers.

� Millican's show, Typical Woman, is at the Pleasance, Edinburgh, until 30 August, 7:30pm. Tickets from �10. For details, visit
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PostPosted: Wed Nov 11, 2009 7:38 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Stand-up Sarah Millican has landed her first Radio 4 series, offering to solve genuine personal problems from members of her studio audience. The full series of Sarah Millican's Support Group follows a pilot recorded last year, soon after she scooped the if.comedy best newcomer award at the Edinburgh Fringe. Four recordings have been scheduled between the end of this month and January, for broadcast early next year.

Audience members will be encouraged to share problems with her agony aunt character – who just happens to be called Sarah too – for her to offer tips ‘in the same way as the busybody at the end of your street who knows everything and dishes out advice whether you want to hear it or not does,’ according to the BBC.

In the past year, Millican has appeared on Have I Got News For You, Mock The Week and Michael McIntyre's Comedy Roadshow.


this should be pretty funny - she's a fine comic
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PostPosted: Sun Aug 14, 2011 8:11 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

All I ever want is to learn and get better - and it seems to be going well
Steve Hendry,
Sunday Mail
Aug 14 2011

COMEDY has long been touted as the new rock and roll but Sarah Millican, one of the big names at this year's Edinburgh Festival Fringe, is still trying to work out what it means. "The hotels I stay in have catches on the window so you can't kill yourself, never mind chuck a telly out," she says. "I suppose it means I might put a towel on the floor and say I want a clean one tomorrow."

The 36-year-old comedienne, whose ready wit, delivered in a distinctive North East accent, has marked her out on the comedy circuit, should be getting used to life at the top of the bill. Instead, she is both surprised and not a little amused to find herself in just that position in the capital this year with her new show, Thoroughly Modern Millican. "People say, 'you are one of the big hitters this year', but all it means is a load of the really big names aren't going," she laughs.

As someone whose TV appearances include Live at The Apollo, Mock The Week, Michael McIntyre's Comedy Roadshow, Have I Got News For You, 8 out of 10 Cats and even The Culture Show, amongst many others, she is doing herself a disservice. Just look at the barometer of success in Edinburgh - bums on seats. She's had to add four new dates at the Edinburgh International Conference Centre after all her original shows at the Assembly Hall sold out.

"It feels nice to know I've got an audience because very few people going to Edinburgh know that," she says. "The tickets have sold stupidly well, ridiculous given I am in an 840-seater. I was at The Stand last year, which seated 150. What I like is it shows progression. I won Best Newcomer, then had my difficult second album, which actually went well and got good reviews, and then for my third show last year I was up for the main award, which felt like I had gone from being good for being new to just being good. That's all you ever want, to just be learning and getting better.

"It means if the show is rubbish thousands of people will hate you instead of hundreds, so you have to make sure it is doubly good. I don't want to let anyone down. I want them to go away thinking, 'that was great, I really enjoyed it'. Tickets are expensive for everybody, you just want to make sure people get their money's worth."

Thoroughly Modern Millican has a loose theme of risk aversion. It's a personality trait which is underlined when she reveals part of the pleasure of being in Edinburgh is staying put in one place - she is sharing digs with friends and fellow fringe comediennes Juliet Meyers and Sally-Anne Haywarth - and being able to bring her slippers and favourite mug with her. Sarah used to live in a different kind of comfort zone. She was married in her early 20s and had jobs which included working in a call centre and at a job centre. She didn't attend a comedy club until she was 29, which makes her ascent up the slippery slope of stand-up all the more surprising and remarkable.

What propelled her on stage was her divorce, in 2004, after seven years of marriage. She moved back home with her parents in South Shields and, as a means of coping, signed up for a workshop for people who had never performed before. "I was a late starter in everything, I didn't get my first bra until I was 16," she says. "When I split up with my ex I just felt like I could do anything on some days. I'd never had that before - of feeling liberated, strong, that anything is possible.

"I had to do a monologue and I told really honest stories about my divorce, about moving back home with my family. Some of it was heartbreaking and some of it was funny because I like to laugh, then I didn't do anything for six months. I thought, 'that's that ticked off' but then eventually I went back to the girl who ran the course and said, 'I want to try stand up'. She said 'I know', like she had been waiting for me to get in touch. She got me my first gig, I loved it and wanted to continue.

"It was definitely therapy for the first six months, no doubt about it. If you take anything hard and someone cracks a joke, as long as it is at the right time, it can be cathartic to be able to laugh. It can be a release valve. I think anybody who has been through something relatively traumatic tends to throw themselves into work or they get drunk a lot or sleep around. I just decided to try to be funny for a living, to get good enough so someone would pay me. I knew nobody in the industry, had no contacts, and what I like about it is it just proved you can get on in the industry if you are funny, clearly, and work really hard and learn from any mistakes you make.

"There is no magic formula. I did new act competitions and came second in three and won one and thought 'this is consistent', then agents started pricking up their ears. There was just a period where people in the industry started to take notice. I worked through a difficult time like anybody does and came out of it with a career. Odd but very, very nice."

One of the by-products of that career has been fame, which she admits she is still learning how to deal with. "I still find it a bit odd," she says. "People have always been really nice and supportive and I appreciate it but I am not a massively tactile person. I don't want to get a wipe out after I shake somebody's hand but I also don't want to hug every single person I meet. So it's trying to get a balance between that. It doesn't feel normal and I don't know if it ever should.

"I don't know what the ultimate aim is, maybe it's to be Bruce Forsyth, still tap dancing on the telly in my 80s with people groaning at my jokes - although I think I might give up before then. I suppose, really, it is to be able to get better, to be able to play any room and nail it whether it's to four people above a pub or in a theatre in front of 4,000 people and make sure it is the best night the audience have had."

If Edinburgh is anything to judge her by, she's well on course.
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PostPosted: Tue Dec 20, 2011 9:47 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

‘Exciting for me is when you start a new tea towel’
David Wriglesworth
December 17, 2011

Since winning the “if.comedy” Best Newcomer Award in 2008, Sarah Millican has gone from strength to strength, almost selling out all of her shows across the country. Her latest tour, “Thoroughly Modern Millican,” stopped off at Lincoln’s Engine Shed on Tuesday, December 13th.

Millican’s stand-up routines have come under criticism for constantly talking about her boyfriend and food. Nevertheless, this didn’t bother the people of Lincoln, who were laughing at all of her jokes. Throughout the gig, the South Shields comedian was particularly strong with her audience interaction, which often gained humorous responses. She asked the question: “How do you know there’s still love in a relationship?” which was greeted to the reply of “morning boner” from an onlooker – something that filled the venue with laughter.

Similarly, Millican spoke of the time she ran out of toilet paper and was forced to wipe her bum with Flash wipes. She asked if any of the audience had used alternatives to wiping their backside, to which someone replied “gravel.” Nevertheless, it wasn’t quite as cringeworthy as Sarah Millican’s friend who used a sandwich, to which she followed “you’ll never look at Nutella in the same way again.” Sarah Millican also provided some words of wisdom as she spoke of a bad experience during a trip to Lightwater Valley (which she described as “a shit version of Alton Towers”). While on a ride, she came up with a bumper car and dodgem theory: those who live life safely are dodgems, while those who aren’t afraid to take risks are bumper cars.

Having admitted she was more of a dodgem, Sarah Millican told the story of how her over-protective mother wouldn’t let her eat “Space Dust” as a child as she thought it was a drug. Nonetheless, the 36-year-old rebelled by eating a packet of the stuff on stage, which she exclaimed “if only blowjobs were this nice, I’d swallow more!”

Millican left the stage to thunderous applause and returned for her encore, which consisted of trying some new material. With the exception of one of her jokes, the content went down a storm with the crowd. Millican put in a fantastic performance at the Engine Shed. While her content is very feminine-based, it can still be enjoyed by a male audience and was a thoroughly enjoyable night all-in-all.
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PostPosted: Wed Feb 08, 2012 12:08 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Sarah Millican in row with fans over filming
7th February 2012

A row has broken out between Sarah Millican and some of her Black Country fans over the filming of part of her show on mobile phones. Millican, who won a People’s Choice Queen of Comedy award last year, spotted Aldridge fan Clare Evans recording a snippet of her show at Wolverhampton Civic Hall on Friday. After a jokey few words were exchanged, according to Mrs Evans’ husband Paul, Millican swore at her. Mr Evans said it was all taken in good spirits and they laughed along with the rest of the arena.

It was only afterwards, when Mrs Evans wrote on the popular comedian’s wall on social networking site Facebook, that things went awry – and she was told never to return. She wrote: “Just seen your show in Wolves, it was fab, I was the lady videoing you in the front row, great show xxx.” But Millican replied: “Did you delete it as I take these things very seriously? I really hope you don’t come to any more of my shows. You’re not welcome if you’re to behave in such a disrespectful way. What you did is basically theft and against the rules of the theatre.”

According to a later post, Mrs Evans said she had only filmed a 10-second clip to show her mother. “I came to your show because I think you are really funny . . . how you can say after I paid money to see you and without even knowing me that I am disrespectful is ridiculous,” Mrs Evans wrote. “I did not intend to offend anyone and I was not the only one filming. When you singled me out we all laughed.”

Other fans also became embroiled in the row, with some defending Millican’s comments and others sticking up for the vilified fan. Richard Colston wrote: “These people who you are bad-mouthing enable you to lead the life you live. They go to work and work hard to pay for tickets to come and see you. Paul and Clare have captured a few seconds of footage so they can remember their night and you are making a big deal about it.”

Millican was today unavailable for comment.


This problem could be solved by giving a warning before the show starts. 'If you film any of this, I WILL KEEEEL YOU'
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PostPosted: Sun May 05, 2013 4:08 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

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