So the Edinburgh Festival Fringe is over for another year, The People’s TV Show state of the art interactive audience voting system is packed away, and I have been shipped home on the megabus. Here are my favourite moments from the run:James Farmer edRick Stein colouring inSteve McLean and Declan Kennedy

  • James Farmer persuading an unwitting member of the audience to come on stage and act out his WWF Wrestling alter ego, which included singing Delilah and telling a joke about a penis.
  • The lovely Rick Stein colouring in sheets provided by Mark Dean Quinn. Very therapeutic.
  • And last but not least, Steve McLean and Declan Kennedy’s beautiful interpretation of a scene from Blake’s 7.

So I wanted to say a massive thanks to all the fabulous acts that vied for votes at The People’s TV Show, we had new material, specially made props, audience activities and lots of laughs. Here is a Twitter list of the acts so you can hunt them down online and find out when they are doing their funny again.

If you want to come to the next round of The People’s TV Show like the show on Facebook and we’ll keep you updated on upcoming dates!


The People’s TV Show at Edinburgh Festival Fringe

The People's TV ShowSo I’m on the road again! Off up to Edinburgh Fringe with a show full of laughs, songs, dances, maybe even a rabbit out of a hat. The People’s TV Show is hosted by yours truly, mixing my experience as a TV Producer, and sterling MC skills to find THE BEST TV SHOW OF ALL TIME!

Each day a group of acts will come on with the sole intent of convincing you that their favourite TV show is the BEST TV SHOW OF ALL TIME. Then you the audience vote at the end so it is truly the people’s choice. Voting may be by trusty clap-o-meter or it might be with Ready Steady Cook style flashcards. Unless an act decides to do their seven minutes championing BBC Two’s finest cookery quiz show, then it might look a bit like favouritism.

So come on down (or up) and help us decide the BEST TV SHOW OF ALL TIME EVER! We’ll be at Fingers Piano Bar on Frederick Street, Saturday 22 August to Friday 30 August with a little break on Monday 24 August to nip home and put a wash on. Show starts at 4pm each day, making us a delightful aperitif for your evening of Edinburgh merriment. Acts will be announced over on Facebook so Like The People’s TV Show to find out who’s on when. See you there!


There, now I’ve got your attention, I’ll tell you some jokes.

…would be a really lame way to start a comedy set, right?

Thankfully though, this is the start of my blog, and the blog is about boobs (and other lady things). So you’ll let me off? Won’t you? WON’T YOU??

You will.

Anyway, the thing is, I am trying to work out whether or not it is OK to talk about my boobs in my set and I wondered if you could help? So I’ve been talking a lot in my set lately about them and it always really conflicts me. I happened to come up with some decent jokes around them: I didn’t set out to write about my boobs, in fact I avoided it, but most comics will know that sometimes the pen/mind takes you somewhere you didn’t mean to go, much like an under-qualified minicab driver, or a Malaysian pilot.

So I end up with this material about my boobs that has come out of the end of my pen Ouija-board style, and THE MATERIAL REALLY WORKS, EVERY GIG. So the problem this lands me with is: I am consistently advised that women shouldn’t talk about women things.

We shouldn’t really talk about our boobies. We shouldn’t really talk about our vaginas (or with them, but that would be anatomically complicated)*.  It would be advisable not to talk about dating guys. And, above all else, we must NEVER EVER talk about our periods. Menstruation is the Fight Club of the comedy world.

At least, that’s what I got told a lot when I was starting out, in comedy courses, and by seasoned acts.

And I’ve always thought that I agreed. But then I was thinking about my boob material and reading how many summer festival comedy line-ups are under-staffed with females and I thought:

Why shouldn’t I write about lady things?? I AM A LADY.

I mean, are we supposed to pretend we are not ladies? Because the clues are all there as we walk on stage – and if other comedians are allowed to talk about their physical attributes when they walk on (“yes, yes, I know what you’re all thinking, you’re thinking that I look like Michael McIntyre crossed with a stapler / Warwick Davies when viewed through a periscope / Brian Blessed if his head was turned upside down and cut in half and then the other half was Judy Garland”) – I SHOULD BE ABLE TO TALK ABOUT MY BOOBS.

However, I guess in an industry where women are cut from comedy bills to keep the female quotient down AND THE PROMOTER THINKS THAT REASONING IS SO OKAY THEY DON’T EVEN COME UP WITH AN EXCUSE TO CONCEAL IT, in an industry where a TV producer’s approach to keeping seats open to females on a panel show is to give them to glamour models and pretty presenters, in an industry where we repeatedly hear stories of female comics being sexually goaded on stage – not just by audiences but by the compere – you do end up asking yourself, is it worth it?

Is it worth it to keep writing female-skewing material when females themselves are considered challenging enough to be on a comedy bill?

I guess what I’m saying is: if V Festival and T in the Park were so squeamish about even the sight of women they at first didn’t book any female comics into their tents, should we steer clear of writing about being a woman? Should female comics take on the gender gap by stealth, infiltrating the comedy scene first with apparently ‘acceptable’ material (i.e. no boob joke in sight), and then once the balance has been struck and the women have all reached the front-line, they unleash all that material? When I write this sentence I’m picturing myself as a sort of comedic Trojan horse, writing middle-of-the-road material as I surreptitiously penetrate the various layers of comedy heirarchy, before reaching the hallowed ground (it’s a spot on Russell Howard’s Good News, isn’t it? It is.) and finally talking about the reasons my pet names for my tits are Ant and Dec.

I guess I sound reductive here: I’m not saying that all women want to talk about their boobs, and I’m not saying that there are no men that want to talk about these lady-topics. But this is my blog so I’m going from my perspective of a woman who occasionally likes talking about being a woman. And the message seems to be ‘shhhh, don’t say anything to let them know that’s what you are!’

What is encouraging though is that the material works. So maybe it’s not the audiences, but the promoters, who are lacking in an appetite for women and the material that may come with them. That gives me hope that promoters/bookers are just slow on the uptake: eventually they’ll notice that their audiences don’t collectively projectile vomit the minute a woman walks on stage and allow us on more.

Either way, I still agree period jokes should be off limits – but that’s cos hearing about other people’s bodily functions grosses me out, regardless of whether they’re a bloke or a girl. But that’s just me. I’m just one audience member in a crowd of hundreds of thousands both at live gigs and watching on the telly. And that’s the point.  Promoters need to deliver across the variety of tastes of their audiences. So they should probably take note when their audiences are pissing themselves laughing and it’s a woman on stage. It isn’t fluke.

Problem page podcast

Mills and Boob aka myself and Vicky are hoping to change lives with our agony aunt podcast. For advice on penis lumps, joint accounts and buying a dick-basket in Stoke Newington on a Sunday afternoon, listen to the podcast

If you have a problem that needs halving or even quartering, send them our way

Brighton Fringe

Sarah Mills at Cult of Comedy, Brighton Fringe

Me doing my thang at Cult of Comedy, Brighton Fringe 2014

Had a great time at the Brighton Fringe at the weekend! The lovely Cult of Comedy had me back on the bill at The Blue Man where they are hosting a shed load of different comedians throughout the festival. Sunday’s show included a Lionel Richie impression, comedy jingles (me, obvs), a West Norwood reunion and a bucket full of belly laughs.

Cult of Comedy will be showcasing the talents of lots more uber-talented funny people at this lovely venue throughout the festival. Have a look here to book your tickets and let me know who you see there.

Mills and Boob: Agony Aunts

Send us your problems!

Myself and the fabulous Victoria Kember have a mission to make the world a better place by being lovely lovely Agony Aunts. And recording it all for a comedy podcast.

But we can’t do that unless you send us your problems! We will talk about any problem sent to us so please do let us know and we will try to come up with a solution.

So if there’s anything bugging you, please send it our way completely anonymously. And keep an eye on @sazzymills on Twitter to find out when we’ve recorded the answers.

Write what you know: working in telly


A telly. Remeber when they looked like that?

The many thousands of people that read my blog will know that this is the final in the trilogy of writing jokes about things I know. We skipped a chapter because I was too busy writing a blog about New Year (in January! I got something right Mum! Though I guess if I was really trying to stand out from the crowd I would write a blog on New Year in June).

So here is the last of the three. As with the Pirates of the Caribbean trilogy, getting to the end may require you to be blind drunk for it to make any sense. Like Godfather III, you’ll find yourself wondering ‘why the Vatican subplot?’ Or it could even be likened to Return of the Jedi ‘cos it’s probably going to be woefully substandard.

This one’s about me working in telly. Which is something I wanted to do ever since I was making television sets out of cardboard as a child (admittedly I did also make flip flops out of cardboard and even imaginary friends out of cardboard. I’m now barefoot and lonely but at least I’m living my dream).


Knightmare (Rex Features)

TV producers are freelance so part of our year we don’t work and instead lounge around the house – which makes me feel vicariously like a dirty benefits scrounger which I like to say only because it makes me feel better about the fact that I do occasionally claim benefits. And then the rest of the year I work at TV companies trying to come up with new programmes. People in my job spend half their time considering what the next big hit to follow on from the X Factor could be, whether it would be better to re-launch Knightmare or The Generation Game (Knightmare, obvs), or how to distill the popularity of the mobile phone game Angry Birds for a television audience. And the other half wondering what in hell was the point of studying Aeschylus at University. My good friends Stu and Dan, who are development bods as well as being comedians, will know exactly what I’m talking about.

So you spend your time coming up with programme ideas and pitching them to broadcasters. The fact of the job is that 99 of every 100 ideas you come up with will never see the light of day. Some people would call that Wastage. I call it Possible Material.

There was the time I pitched Sheikhs on a Plane which was not in any way a programme idea, just a really fun pun that I LOVED (if you’ve ever said to yourself ‘gah, these television producers, they must just start with a silly title and make a television programme to fit it,’ bingo, you are correct, sir). Sadly I could not make a TV show out of it, so it has now become a joke about 9/11 conspiracists. In a similar vein, I was desperate to pitch How Deep Is Your Dove? but try as I might I couldn’t find any evidence to suggest that the skincare brand is in financial difficulty. There was the time I mistyped Bear Grylls as Near Grylls and suddenly had a ready-made joke about the TV adventurer’s very own tribute act.

Basically, my job is like the Sainsbury’s Make Your Roast Go Further campaign. All the bits I don’t use in the day get rehashed and turned into jokes in the evening. And I try and mix the really shit bits in with the prime stuff and hope no-one notices.

So, in conclusion, I don’t really write comedy about the job, I use the job to write comedy (as a purely accidental and non-time-consuming byproduct – I hasten to add for the benefit of any employers reading this!). So I’m not writing what I know, which is a shame. I guess if I was an accountant or a computer programmer or a teacher everyone would know what I did. These job titles are all shorthand for worlds which we are familiar with. But what I find often is that no-one really understands what my job is (especially not my mum and dad, much to their chagrin), so unless I do a preamble I can’t really get into the topic with ease. So I leave it to one side.

But – hang on a sec! – what I have been forgetting all this time is that I definitely *do* work with a medium that everyone knows. The TV programmes listed above we are all resolutely familiar with….oh my God, why didn’t I think of this before?


Pob (Ragdoll Producciones)


So, decision made – I will write jokes about all of TV! This is an excellent day in which I discovered another rich area of life that I can talk about. And like all the other stuff it is a completely pointless area (but one that I have nevertheless made my life’s work out of). There’s the question of what type of animal Pob actually is, there’s the pointlessness of the show Extreme Couponing, there’s the extreme superness of the show Pointless and the fact that I once knew someone who went on Jim’ll Fix It. I don’t think I am EVER going to run out of material.

So thanks for coming with me on this three-part journey on Writing What You Know. If there’s one thing I’ve learnt, it’s that there’s always some prime material on your doorstep, you just have to remind yourself how it is you feel about the things that are ever-present in your life. There’s no point raging about an ex-boyfriend that you actually just feel sorry for, or pretending that you hated growing up in an estuary sink town when in truth you found it quite fun. It’s our unusual and unique responses to otherwise recognisable life experiences that make for interesting material on stage. And there’s always a way to make stuff accessible – even if no-one, not even your parents, understands what you do for a living.

But do you not know anything else about life Sarah? I hear you cry. Yes I do. Here are the other things I know about:

  • French music at the turn of the last century
  • Every world capital (if you’d like to test me on this via Skype or summat be my guest)
  • Correct use of Skype
  • How to care for Russian dwarf hamsters (apart from the one that I like to think is living a very lovely life in the wall cavities of our old house in Stevenage)
  • How to solve quadratic equations
  • How to solve quadratic men
  • How to solve quadratic quandries
  • The Montessori method
  • Red Dwarf
  • Blanket stitch
  • How to plaster a wall
  • The oeuvre of work to date created by Vic Reeves and Bob Mortimer
  • How to create a graveyard for Russian dwarf hamsters in your back garden when they all eventually die of natural causes
  • I also know that the capital of Vatican city is Vatican city which means that it is the capital of itself, which to my mind creates a circular paradox that will ultimately lead to the Vatican imploding, in a series of events that will ironically resemble the apocalypse as foretold in the Bible’s Revelation of John.

If you’ve managed to read this blog full of navel gazing I commend you. If you’ve spent the rest of my blog in a seething rage over my Return of the Jedi comments, you and I probably don’t need to talk so much any more.

Roll credits.