My secret Life: Sarah Millican, comedian, 36


My parents were... I was quite performery as a child but as soon as I went to school I was really shy. At home I'd tap dance and read poetry – from behind a curtain – but my parents were incredibly encouraging, and had they not been I wouldn't be doing this.

The household I grew up in... My dad worked a lot down the pit – such a cliché – and my mam was a stay-at-home-mam. I don't ever remember him being absent... he must have just not really slept much!

When I was a child I wanted to... When I was really little I wanted to be a stripper – quite unusual, I think I just thought it was nice dancing. When I was a bit older I wanted to be a vet. But when I was 14 or 15 I did work experience at a vets, and it was horrific.

If I could change one thing about myself... I don't think there is anything – not in an arrogant way, it's just I've accepted myself. Being 36, I'm just comfortable. When you get in your thirties you're like, 'This is what I am' – you get quite bolshy like that.

At night I dream of... I used to dream a lot but it was always really dull. I once dreamt I'd read the Radio Times, but I couldn't remember it so I didn't even know what was on the telly.

You wouldn't know it but I'm very good at... doing a car horn noise. That is my one skill. It's only because my friends brought me an old-fashioned horn from a joke shop; I didn't want to carry it about so I learnt to do it myself.

You may not know it but I'm no good at... parking – I just drive round and around till I can find two spaces together.

I wish I'd never worn... hundreds of things. I did have one really bad multi-coloured chiffon tent blouse. It had no fashion – there was no time or place that it was right. It was just hideous, migraine-inducing.

My favourite item of clothing... Wonder Woman knickers. There's something about them – I put them on and think, 'Now I can deal with the day'.

What I see when I look in the mirror... I just see a 'tache. I don't look and think, 'Is my hair nice?', I think 'How's my beard?'.

It's not fashionable but I like... Nothing I do is fashionable, love. I like telly – some people think telly is fashionable, other people think you should be reading a book. I like to have something to wind down to, anything that's cheesy or makes me emote.

A book that changed me... When I split up with my ex I read a self-help book called It's Your Life,What Are You Going To Do With It? which is quite an aggressive title! It was full of exercises that I ignored but it had a lot of first-hand stories – 'I was 50 and I got into Rada'... That book just gave me a little bit of encouragement.

Movie heaven... Thelma and Louise. I haven't watched it with my boyfriend yet because he has a habit of making smart-arse remarks and I don't want him to ruin it! I was 16 when it came out, probably quite an impressionable age, but I had never seen a film that had really feisty women in it.

My life in six words... I am very happy right now.

A life in brief

Sarah Millican was born in South Shields, Tyne and Wear in 1975. In 2008, she won the Best Newcomer Award at the Edinburgh Fringe Festival for her debut solo show, Sarah Millican's Not Nice. She has appeared on comedy shows including Mock the Week, Live at the Apollo and 8 Out of 10 Cats, and recorded her own Radio 4 series, Sarah Millican's Support Group. She is touring her show Thoroughly Modern Millican till April, and her DVD Sarah Millican Chatterbox Live is out now. She lives in Manchester