Sarah Millican: I’m normal, they’re A-list – it’s TV heaven

"I’m weirdly more comfortable in front of a studio audience and telly cameras than at any dinner party. There are fewer forks"

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Being a guest on things is always the easiest end of the stick. There’s much less pressure on you (it’s not your show), you can turn up later (as late as 5pm on some shows, depending on how much make-up you need shovelled on your face and whether you need your balled-up dress ironing), you’re usually one of a few guests and so the responsibility to be funny or interesting or at least awake is halved or thirded or quartered.

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The only bad thing about being a guest on Breakfast is the crazy time you have to get up. It’s so early (especially for a comedian) that there’s always the worry that I’ll accidentally swear (about how “chuffing” early it is) or, at the very least, shout across the studio to Bill and Susannah, “Have you really only got porridge? No Frosties AT ALL?”.

Being a guest on Loose Women is like going home. In a figurative sense; my family don’t all sit round a table flinging about their opinions on love at first sight and whether the Queen should abdicate and let Charles have a go for a bit. Though meals at home would certainly be livened up by any of Denise Welch’s stories about flashing her boobs at someone she shouldn’t. The woman is a hoot. I miss those ladies, so being a guest is a chance to catch up and sometimes sit really close to Antony Costa.

Saturday Kitchen is a favourite. It’s as fun to be on as it is to watch. I told a Michelin-starred chef not to feel bad about only having one star (I didn’t know that was a good thing) and I got to take a massive pudding home on the train. Plus I made sure that I still quite liked the Food Hell. Sneaky, I know. Chatty Man is such a joy as Alan Carr is so funny and easy to talk to, it’s like being on the telly with your mate. Jonathan Ross is smart and very charismatic and allowed me to sit between David Tennant and Jeremy Piven. THANK YOU!!

Graham Norton gets it so right. He is where magic happens. Real moments of television. He’s just wonderful at bringing out the best in people. It feels like you’re at his house, though to be fair I’m weirdly more comfortable in front of a studio audience and telly cameras than at any dinner party. There are fewer forks. 

Whoever thought plonking someone like me (a normal) amongst huge Hollywood stars is a genius. Sharing the sofa changes the dynamic entirely and creates a sort of chemical reaction. I’ve talked about ordinary, some would even say coarse, things (Hi Mam!) with extraordinary people. Farting during sex with P Diddy, eating croissants out of bins with Jessica Biel, and how trimmed your downstairs should be with Cameron Diaz.

I think we choose to watch a chat show based on the guests. If Michael Bublé’s on, I’m there. But with Norton it’s the combination that makes me tune in. Arnold Schwarzenegger and Ronnie Corbett? That is already hilarious.


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Sarah’s stand-up DVD, Thoroughly Modern Millican Live, is available at amazon.co.uk