Profile: Sarah Millican
A determined comedian whose winning manner and steely ambition has put her in the top league ahead of a new Outsider tour
The north-east of England has served the comedy community well over the last two decades. All branches of live entertainment seem to have been represented by that area from the surrealistic, freewheeling likes of Reeves and Mortimer, Seymour Mace and Ross Noble to the storytelling methods which amuse and occasionally move of Jason Cook and his pal Chris Ramsey (the former was best man to the latter). Of course, like every community, there’s always one who embarrasses the group: stand proud Royston ‘Roy “Chubby” Brown’ Vasey.
What’s largely missing there is a talented female comedian, but it just so happens that the biggest Geordie box-office draw at the moment is Sarah Millican. The ‘sold out’ signs went up across various venues swiftly after the announcement of this new tour, sealing her position as a comic who barely needs to do any press at all now that the mere mention of her name is enough to get bums on seats.
From the very start of her career, Millican has been adept at working a room with a matey joviality that could be undercut at any given moment with harsh if reasonably well-meaning jibes. Armed with decent stories, a winning manner and obvious determination to succeed, it’s hard to begrudge her any of the major success that has almost crept up on us all. The only thing you want to quibble with is the title of her new tour which traverses the nation through to the autumn: Outsider? Really, Sarah? If an outsider is someone who can comfortably put on a string of nights at venues such as the SECC and Hammersmith Apollo, what does that make those acts struggling to get open spots up and down the country every week? We can only hope the title is fully justified by the material.
Sarah Millican: Outsider is on tour from Sun 1 May–Fri 23 Sep.