Sarah Jane Millican (née King; born 29 May 1975) is an English comedian. Millican won the if.comedy award for Best Newcomer at the 2008 Edinburgh Festival Fringe. 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.
Life and career
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, South Shields and then worked as a civil servant at a job centre until the age of 29. She was married on 5 November 1997 but divorced in 2004 and moved back in with her parents for two and a half years.
2005–2009: Career beginnings and touring
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. In spring 2009 she began previewing her second Edinburgh show, attracting enthusiastic reviews for her material on the battle of the sexes. Many reviewers commented on her 'blue' material. Her third show, Chatterbox, was hosted by the Stand Comedy Club during Fringe 2010. The show was nominated for the main Edinburgh Comedy Award, losing to Russell Kane.
2009–present: Mainstream success and DVDs, TV and radio shows
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 The Secret Policeman's Ball 2008 and on 4 Stands Up. She was featured in the Manchester edition of Michael McIntyre's Comedy Roadshow, which was broadcast in June 2009, made an appearance on the third episode of David Mitchell's panel show The Bubble in March 2010, 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. 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. Millican also headlined the fourth episode of Dave's One Night Stand.
Her radio series, Sarah Millican's Support Group, began broadcasting on 18 February 2010 on BBC Radio 4. 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". A second series debuted on BBC Radio 4 Extra on 2 May 2011.
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.
Also in 2011, Millican became a panellist on the ITV programme 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. 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.
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.
Millican appeared in a celebrity episode of Deal or No Deal broadcast on 29 April 2012, where she won £20,000 for charity. Unfortunately, she had £100,000 in her box.
Millican also appeared on the Comic Relief 2015: Face the Funny Tv Programme, broadcast on Friday 13 March 2015, Where she was a host for the BBC Comic Relief show.
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.
After her husband Andrew Millican left her unexpectedly in 2004, Millican found solace in attending writing workshops in local theatres, such as at Newcastle's Live Theatre and the Custom House, South Shields. Jokes about her failed marriage initially formed the vast majority of Millican's comedy material.
In December 2013 she married fellow stand-up comic Gary Delaney.
- Chatterbox Live (Released 21 November 2011)
- Thoroughly Modern Millican Live (Released 12 November 2012)
- The Sarah Millican Television Programme Best of Series 1 & 2 (Released 11 November 2013)
- Home Bird (Released 17 November 2014)
- Outsider (Released 21 November 2016)
Awards and nominations
- So You Think You're Funny? (2nd place) 2005
- BBC New Comedy Awards (finalist) 2005
- Funny Women (runner-up) 2005
- Chortle Awards (Best Newcomer nomination) 2006
- North West Comedy Awards (Best Breakthrough Act) 2007
- if.comedy award (Best Newcomer) 2008
- Edinburgh Comedy Award 2010 (Best show nomination)
- British Comedy Award People’s Choice Award for the King or Queen of Comedy 2011
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.