Sarah Millican

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Sarah Millican
Sarah Millican 2010.jpg
Millican in 2010
Birth nameSarah Jane King
Born (1975-05-29) 29 May 1975 (age 46)
South Shields, Tyne and Wear, England
MediumRadio, stand-up, television
Years active2004–present
GenresObservational comedy
Subject(s)Relationships, body image, television
Andrew Millican
(m. 1997; div. 2004)

(m. 2013)

Sarah Jane Millican (née King;[1] born 29 May 1975[2]) is an English comedian. Millican won the comedy award for Best Newcomer at the 2008 Edinburgh Festival Fringe.[3] In February 2013 she was listed as one of the 100 most powerful women in the United Kingdom by Radio 4's Woman's Hour,[4] and in the same year she married fellow comedian Gary Delaney. Her first book, How to Be Champion, was published in 2017. Millican has performed on various tours, mainly across the United Kingdom, over the years.

Life and career[edit]

Early life[edit]

Millican was born and brought up in South Shields, England, the daughter of Valerie Prince and Philip D. King, who was a mining electrician. She attended Mortimer Comprehensive School, later to become Mortimer Community College,[5] and then worked as a civil servant at a job centre until the age of 29.[6] She was married on 5 November 1997[7] but divorced in 2004 and moved back in with her parents for two and a half years.

2005–2009: Career beginnings and touring[edit]

Millican's debut Edinburgh Festival Fringe show Sarah Millican's Not Nice, inspired by her divorce, won the if.comedy award for Best Newcomer in 2008.[8] In spring 2009 she began previewing her second Edinburgh show, attracting enthusiastic reviews for her material on the battle of the sexes.[9][10] Many reviewers commented on her 'blue' material.[11] Her third show, Chatterbox, was hosted by the Stand Comedy Club[12] during Fringe 2010.[13] The show was nominated for the main Edinburgh Comedy Award, losing to Russell Kane.[14]

2009–present: mainstream success and DVDs, TV and radio shows[edit]

Millican has appeared as a panellist on 8 Out of 10 Cats, Have I Got News for You, Mock the Week, You Have Been Watching, Would I Lie to You?, QI and Never Mind the Buzzcocks, and as a performer at The Secret Policeman's Ball 2008 and on 4 Stands Up. She has also appeared a few times as a contestant on the Channel 4 crossover game show 8 Out of 10 Cats Does Countdown. She was featured in the Manchester edition of Michael McIntyre's Comedy Roadshow, which was broadcast in June 2009,[15] made an appearance on the third episode of David Mitchell's panel show The Bubble in March 2010,[16] and has been a guest on six episodes of Frank Skinner's Opinionated.

She provided vocal work to the BBC's natural history footage for Walk on the Wild Side, alongside fellow comics Rhod Gilbert, Jon Richardson, Isy Suttie and Gavin Webster.[17] She appeared on Live at the Apollo on 11 December 2009, and headlined Michael McIntyre's Comedy Roadshow, recorded at the Empire Theatre, Sunderland on 15 August 2010.[13] Millican also headlined the fourth episode of Dave's One Night Stand.[18]

Her radio series, Sarah Millican's Support Group, began broadcasting on 18 February 2010 on BBC Radio 4.[19] The format is that studio audience members are encouraged to share problems with her agony aunt character 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". Some problems are scripted, the roles being played by guest actors, while others come from real people in the audience, to allow Sarah to improvise. Audience member problems have included "My boyfriend prefers his Blackberry to me". A pair of "therapists", also played by actors, feature in each week's show and provide scripted and improvised responses to all the "problems".[20] A second series debuted on BBC Radio 4 Extra on 2 May 2011.[21]

She was a regular co-host of the satirical news show 7 Day Sunday on BBC Radio 5 Live, along with comedians Chris Addison, Andy Zaltzman and one different guest each week. The first episode aired in January 2010; she and Addison left the show on 27 February 2011.

In December 2011, she voiced three Viz "Comedy Blaps" alongside Steve Coogan, Simon Greenall and Gavin Webster for Channel 4.[22]

Also in 2011, Millican became a panellist on the ITV programme The Marriage Ref and joined the panel on ITV daytime chat show Loose Women, leaving the series in August. She was also a guest on several other panel and chat shows. A live DVD of her Chatterbox tour was released in November 2011 by Channel 4.[23] The Chatterbox DVD went on to break an all-time record in sales for a female stand-up comedian selling 172,000 copies in just over one month.[24]

Millican's stand-up show, The Sarah Millican Television Programme, was first broadcast on 8 March 2012 on BBC Two. In November 2012, she released a follow-up live DVD, Thoroughly Modern Millican. In early January 2013, she appeared for a couple of nights on The One Show. On 15 January 2013, she began presenting a second series of The Sarah Millican Television Programme. Millican was nominated for 2013 and 2014 BAFTA Entertainment Performance awards for her work in The Sarah Millican Television Programme.[25]

Millican appeared in a celebrity episode of Deal or No Deal broadcast on 29 April 2012, where she won £20,000 for charity. She had £100,000 in her box.

In September 2014, Millican founded Standard Issue, an online magazine for women, which was followed up by a spinoff podcast in February 2016.[26][27]

Millican also participated in BBC's Comic Relief 2015, appearing as a host during the live broadcast on Friday 13 March 2015.

In May 2015, it was announced that Millican would be made the eighth "curator" of The Museum of Curiosity, co-presenting the eighth series of the BBC Radio 4 comedy series.[28]

Millican's autobiography, How to be Champion, was published in October 2017.[29] Dates were later announced for her 2018 UK tour, Control Enthusiast, which was later extended into Oceania and Canada.

In 2019, Millican began presenting the comedy panel show Elephant in the Room for Radio 4.[30][31] The show focuses on the panellists being asked about various life experiences and testing who is closest and farthest from the national average, and Millican has said that she wishes to defy typical panel show gender ratios on the show by having "three champion women and one smashing male".

Personal life[edit]

After her husband left her unexpectedly in 2004,[32] Millican found solace in attending writing workshops in local theatres, such as at Newcastle's Live Theatre and the Customs House in South Shields. Jokes about her failed marriage initially formed the majority of Millican's comedy material.[33]

She began a relationship with fellow stand-up comic Gary Delaney in 2006.[34] The couple moved in together in 2013 and married in December 2013.[34]

Stand-up DVDs[edit]

  • Chatterbox Live (21 November 2011)
  • Thoroughly Modern Millican Live (12 November 2012)
  • Home Bird Live (17 November 2014)
  • Outsider Live (21 November 2016)
  • Control Enthusiast Live (3 December 2018)


  • How to be Champion (Trapeze, 2017) ISBN 9781409174301

Awards and nominations[edit]

In February 2013 Millican was assessed as one of the 100 most powerful women in the United Kingdom by Woman's Hour on BBC Radio 4.[4]


  1. ^ Who Do You Think You Are?, BBC TV, broadcast 11 September 2013.
  2. ^ Millican, Sarah [@SarahMillican75] (29 May 2017). "I know it's early but IT'S MY BIRTHDAY. These beautiful flowers are from my husband. 42 today and beaming" (Tweet). Retrieved 14 September 2020 – via Twitter.
  3. ^ Mickey Noonan (13 October 2008). "Sarah Millican isn't resting on her laurels". Metro. Retrieved 13 May 2009.
  4. ^ a b "The Power List 2013". BBC Radio 4. BBC. Archived from the original on 15 February 2013. Retrieved 16 February 2013.
  5. ^ "Sarah Millican profile". BBC Radio 4. Archived from the original on 19 January 2016. Retrieved 31 December 2016.
  6. ^ Funny Girl: Sarah Millican in The Independent Archived 7 March 2014 at the Wayback Machine Retrieved 27 June 2015
  7. ^ "Sarah Millican & Her Husband Met In The Most Comedy Way". Bustle. Retrieved 18 April 2021.
  8. ^ Tim Arthur (10 December 2008). "Sarah Millican: interview". Time Out. Archived from the original on 17 June 2009. Retrieved 13 May 2009.
  9. ^ David Durkin and Sarah Newman (6 May 2009). "What you thought of Liverpool's comedy festival: Sarah Millican, Justin Moorhouse and Drink Up Stand Up". Liverpool Echo. Archived from the original on 19 March 2012. Retrieved 13 May 2009.
  10. ^ Victoria Nangle (21 July 2009). "Review of the week: Sarah Millican – Typical Woman". Latest 7. Archived from the original on 28 July 2011.
  11. ^ Sam Wonfor (1 August 2009). "Sarah Millican: Typical Woman, Live Theatre". The Journal. Archived from the original on 23 February 2012.
  12. ^ Richard Herring (14 August 2013). "Richard Herring's Edinburgh Fringe Podcast" (Podcast). Archived from the original on 7 January 2015. Retrieved 16 August 2013.
  13. ^ a b Wonfor, Sam (11 August 2010). "Sarah Millican leads the comedy pack home". The Journal. Archived from the original on 3 February 2012. Retrieved 13 August 2010.
  14. ^ a b "Two women make the shortlist". Chortle. 25 August 2010. Archived from the original on 28 August 2010. Retrieved 25 August 2010.
  15. ^ "New comedy tops bill on BBC One this summer with Michael McIntyre's Comedy Roadshow". BBC. 23 April 2009. Archived from the original on 26 April 2009. Retrieved 14 May 2009.
  16. ^ "The Bubble, a brand-new comedy news quiz on BBC Two". BBC. 2 February 2010. Archived from the original on 19 February 2010. Retrieved 20 February 2010.
  17. ^ "Interview: Sarah Millican's stand-up is in the worst possible taste". The Scotsman. 1 August 2009. Retrieved 8 August 2009.
  18. ^ Ian Wolf. "Episode 1.4". British Comedy Guide. Archived from the original on 18 April 2012. Retrieved 9 October 2010.
  19. ^ "R4 Sarah Millican's Support Group". BBC Press Office. 18 February 2010. Archived from the original on 24 February 2010. Retrieved 18 February 2010.
  20. ^ "R4 series for Millican". Chortle. 10 November 2009. Archived from the original on 14 November 2009. Retrieved 10 November 2009.
  21. ^ "Sarah Millican's Support Group". British Comedy Guide. Archived from the original on 13 October 2012. Retrieved 14 June 2011.
  22. ^ Henderson, Steve (12 December 2011). "Viz Animation – "Blap" to basics". Skwigly. Archived from the original on 14 January 2012. Retrieved 6 January 2012.
  23. ^ "Sarah Millican signs DVD deal". Chortle. 24 August 2010. Archived from the original on 28 August 2010. Retrieved 24 August 2010.
  24. ^ Cavendish, Dominic (21 December 2011). "Sarah Millican reflects on her remarkable DVD sales success". The Telegraph. London. Archived from the original on 8 April 2012. Retrieved 16 February 2013.
  25. ^ "Television in 2013". BAFTA. British Academy of Film and Television Arts. Archived from the original on 8 March 2015. Retrieved 31 December 2016.
  26. ^ "Standard Issue - About us". Retrieved 5 April 2019.
  27. ^ "Standard Issue Podcast Episode 1 -". Retrieved 5 April 2019.
  28. ^ Dessau, Bruce (6 May 2015). "News: Sarah Millican Curates Museum". Beyond the Joke. Archived from the original on 10 May 2015. Retrieved 6 May 2015.
  29. ^ "Sarah Millican: How to be Champion". Orion Books. Archived from the original on 3 October 2017. Retrieved 3 October 2017.
  30. ^ Solutions, Powder Blue Internet Business. "Sarah Millican to host a female-led panel show : News 2019 : Chortle : The UK Comedy Guide". Retrieved 28 June 2019.
  31. ^ Guide, British Comedy. "Elephant In The Room - Radio 4 Panel Show". British Comedy Guide. Retrieved 28 June 2019.
  32. ^ Gilbert, Gerard (2 March 2012). "Funny girl: Sarah Millican on comedy, money and marriage". The Independent. London. Archived from the original on 7 March 2014.
  33. ^ Chitra Ramaswamy (10 August 2008). "Sarah Millican preview". Scotland on Sunday. Retrieved 13 May 2009.
  34. ^ a b Sarah Millican marries Gary Delaney
  35. ^ Amused Moose Comedy Award 2005
  36. ^ "The Northwest Comedy Awards". Manchester Confidential. 27 January 2007. Archived from the original on 10 August 2007. Retrieved 16 May 2009.

External links[edit]

Preceded by
Tom Basden
if.comedy award for Best Newcomer
Succeeded by
Jonny Sweet