I'm a comedy nepo baby. Not one of the cool ones whose parents were always on TV. I'm more from that damaged pod of comic spawn, who spent their childhood being dragged from club to club and festival to festival because 'sitting backstage is cheaper than childcare'.

There are Scottish comedians who've not gigged in years, whose sets I can still recite verbatim. I spent my adolescence as an undiagnosed autistic companion to a Scottish, middle-aged female comedian… what else was I going to become when I grew up? A serial killer? I don't have the wrists for that! Comedy was the only thing I was fit for.

I was a 'showy child'; I enjoyed the performance and had no concept of shyness. My parents owned a pub in the East End of Glasgow, and I'd sing and dance, doing my own renditions of Calamity Jane (a problematic Wild West musical) on a Sunday morning. Forcing all of the very hungover, alcohol-dependent men to clap and sing along as Gordon – my male nanny and also just a man who drank in the pub – slid me up and down the bar. I honestly don't know how my parents retained customers.

As an eleven-year-old, still with undiagnosed autism and a penchant for dramatics, I wanted to make friends, a resource I was in short supply of. And I thought… I'll become a comedian. Because if there's one thing that prepubescent children really like, it's another child who wants to stand out and be different… lol. I am only kidding; other eleven-year-olds HATE that.

By this point, my mum had given up being a barmaid and had become a stand-up, so it was an easy industry to step into, despite my age. I did the daytime TV circuit, and eventually, I met Shirley Eaton; she was the Bond Girl who was painted gold in Goldfinger. I told her about my predicament, “I wanted to make friends, I became a comedian, none of my peers were impressed, and I still had no pals!” She told me, “It's showbiz, darling.”

Ashley Storrie
Ashley Storrie

I temporarily retired from comedy at the tender age of 14, one of my boobs was coming in slower than the other, and I was wildly insecure; plus, I had exams to concentrate on and hanging about with adults who'd been in Bond films was eating into my study time.

I didn't go back to being a stand-up comic till I was in my 20s, but I was always around it thanks to my mother, who needed someone to hold her handbag while she was on stage. I got to listen to some of the greatest comedy minds pontificate and spit-ball backstage; I don't think there's a better comedy classroom.

My favourite of these interactions was in Wellington, NZ, many moons ago. My mother was doing the New Zealand Comedy Festival at the same time they were filming The Hobbit, and it just so happened that our comedy lord and saviour, Sir Billy Connolly, was staying in our hotel. He took me for pizza and tea and told me I had funny bones. We talked about films and the celebrities that annoy him and what makes a good joke. I learned more about comedy in those few hours than I will in a lifetime of spitting gags on stage. I also learned that if you're Billy Connolly, you don't wait for the green man. Cars just stop.

Ashley Storrie

I think it's important to talk about the bad gigs. Sometimes, it's just not meant to be. Sometimes, it's just a bad gig. And sometimes, you get accidentally drugged and think you're hallucinating.

Let me contextualise this for you. The first thing you need to know is I'm a Star Trek fan, specifically Voyager. The second thing you should know is the friends I had in my 20s were not… law abiding. So, before a gig one night at The Stand in Glasgow, I went to a friend's house to hang out for a few hours. He's playing computer games, engrossed in the creed of the assassin, and I ask if I can eat some toast. He says, “Sure.” I love bread. I'm a bread monster. And when I eat toast, I'm eating at least four slices slathered in butter. I eat a round, and somehow, I'm still peckish, so I eat another round, and then I head to my show.

I was feeling funny. Spaced out. Confused. Then, I get a phone call from my friend, and he is ranting and raving about how I've decimated his supply of cannabis-laced butter. I wasn't a drug person. I didn't know why anyone would put DRUGS IN BUTTER and then leave said DRUG BUTTER next to the safe butter! Anyway. I go to the show, and I'm very aware now that I'm tripping balls. And I walk on stage. I was really worried that I was talking too fast, so I slowed down and performed my set, talking like a whale.

I think I did three minutes before literally running home to vomit.

All the while, I'm making full eye contact with Robert Picardo, who played the hologram on Star Trek Voyager, and I'm convinced he's in my head and nobody else can see him. I think I did three minutes before literally running home to vomit.

I got a text that night from another comedian to tell me it was a shame I'd run away; a guy from Star Trek Voyager was in the audience, and everyone got their pictures taken with him. I don't know what bothers me more, that I got drugged or that the guy from Star Trek thinks I'm rubbish! Cause I'm not, I'm mid to good. The pleasing thing about this story is, it proves that I eventually did make friends.

There's a show out on BBC 3, BBC Scotland and Hulu in called Dinosaur, that I'm in and that I co-created with Matilda Curtis. It really has nothing to do with Dinosaurs, or any of the above anecdotes but you should watch it, nonetheless. Live long and prosper!

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Ashley is the lead in new BBC comedy drama Dinosaur. On BBC Scotland iPlayer and BBC Three. She is also the host of Midsomer Murders Mayhem podcast.