Sarah Millican talks flowery blouses, orange foundation, cake-shaped swimming pools and refusing to be pigeon-holed.
Ever since she won the If.com Best Newcomer Award at Edinburgh in 2008, Sarah Millican has become a bit bored with the pigeonholes that most interviewers try to stick her in.
“I understand that they need to find an angle,” she says, “but it’s always “She’s a bit common, she’s from the North or she’s a woman.’”
Well, two of those are true while one of them is both snobbish and patronising but they all seem a very limited way to describe Millican. You could colour in some of the large gaps in that incomplete picture by adding that the down to earth Geordie loves cakes, is fiercely ambitious and one of the fastest rising stars of the UK comedy scene. Her secret weapon is the element of surprise.
“People think that you won’t talk about rape if you have a flowery top on,” is how she cheerily puts it.
Unusually, Millican won the Newcomer Award for her very first solo show in Edinburgh. She hasn’t looked back from that flying start. Mock the Week, Live at the Apollo and Michael McIntyre’s Roadshow are just some of the many TV programs she has appeared on in the last year, along with dozens of radio spots. Her star is very much on the up.
So is it all cake-shaped swimming pools at Millican Mansions these days? “No,”she laughs. “I still live in the same flat and drive the same car, but I do like the idea of the cake-shaped swimming pool. It’s my birthday on Saturday and that’s going on my wish list, although I’m much more likely to get a swimming pool-shaped cake.”
Millican describes moving between live stand-up and TV work as like being good at plumbing and then being asked to try out as a carpenter, but she’s enjoying knock-on benefits beyond the valuable increase in exposure.
“I enjoy getting my make-up done because, I’m not very good at being a girl. I bought a foundation the other day and it made me orange.”
The Stand One, 4-29 August (not 16), 8.20pm, From £7, Tel: 0131 5587272