So what makes our Sarah laugh? ; THE NORTH'S VERY OWN SARAH MILLICAN RETURNS WITH A NEW SERIES OF HER TV SHOW ON TUESDAY. THE SUNDAY SUN GOT THE GOSSIP ON WHAT TO WATCH OUT FOR
WHAT can you tell us about the TV show this time around? We've got great, funny guests like Richard Osman from Pointless - I'm a huge fan of Pointless! - and Bradley Walsh from Law & Order UK, who's game for a laugh. We're never mean to guests, but we want to be a bit cheeky, so you need people that have the wit and the intelligence to know that nothing's meant seriously.
What are the highlights of filming? Those great, unexpected ones where I have to roll with the punches because something's happened off-script. They are a bit livelier. Guests are planned, questions are planned, but sometimes the moment takes you a different way.
Is it nerve-wracking when the action deviates from the script? Everything worthwhile is always scary, but in a good way. Somebody said to me, 'Don't think of it as nerves, think of it as excitement.' It's the same chemical in your system; it's just looking at it in a more positive way. Whenever I get out in front of any audience, until I get my first laugh, I'm nervous, because nothing is 100% certain. But once you get a couple of laughs under your belt, you can relax into it.
Do you meet your guests beforehand? I say, 'Hi and thank you for coming on the show,' but I never rehearse with guests. I rehearse with the production team and they pretend to be the guests, and the production team pretends to be me as they rehearse with the guests. The worst thing would be if something hilarious came out during a rehearsal and you tried to recreate it later on. The sparkle would go. So I need to keep my powder dry.
You've been a comedian now for nine years. What would you say is your unique selling point? I think it's that I could be sitting beside you in the audience. So many people go, 'Oh my God, my auntie's just like you' or, 'My neighbour's just like you,' and I take that as a real compliment.
I'm a kind of Everywoman - I don't look like a star or behave like a star, so there's not that big chasm or moat between us. I'm talking about things that have happened to me, and it's stuff they can relate to, because I'm not Elton John - although I did once buy a seven-pack of socks and wear a new pair of socks every day for a week and felt a little bit like Elton John. I can see why he does it, because they just slide on.
Who makes you laugh? I love Frank Skinner. He's so naturally funny. I did a few episodes of Frank Skinner's Opinionated, and you know you've really made him laugh when he slaps his leg.
When he does that, I'm thinking, 'I've got him!' I also think Jo Brand is wonderful - I did a gig with her in December last year, and the audience was so excited she was there. There's a lot of love for her.
What are your favourite sitcoms? I love watching old Blackadders and Father Teds. I think Graham Linehan is a comedy genius, if you think that he wrote three of the best sitcoms ever: Black Books, Father Ted, and The IT Crowd. They're all so different and yet all came from the mind of one man.
How do you get inspiration for your comedy? By living a bit more of a real life to be able to relate to my audience, not to mention for your sanity.
What did you grow up watching? A lot of Victoria Wood. Whenever she was together with Julie Walters, it was wondrous. And people didn't watch Victoria Wood and go, 'Oh, she's a woman' - they just watched her because she's hilarious. I love her.
Was a she a role model for you when you considered taking up comedy? Not really. It was circumstances - my divorce in 2004 - that got me onstage, rather than other comedians. I just got up and had a go. I didn't really know it was stand up at the beginning. I was just talking to people about my divorce.
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