Starting stand-up was my New Year's resolution 2018 – the only one I’ve ever really stuck to. Maybe there’s an alternate reality where I can speak French or do one pull-up?

I was working an unfulfilling office job (not how I put it on LinkedIn) and my friends were getting bored of drinking games so I was looking for something creative and playful, ideally where I also got to wear my most fun clothes.

It came down to either stand-up or LARPing. Either way, it's giving ELF.

Chelsea Birkby

Research and development

Before I do anything in life, I like to do the pre-reading. It’s this kinda cool, sexy thing about me. It was so for my first kiss (“don’t do the washing machine”!) as it was for gig one. So, every day from New Year to my first gig (on April Fool’s Day), I’d be at my desk listening to hours of Stuart Goldsmith’s Comedian’s Comedian Podcast, taking notes.

As a result, Stuart Goldsmith might be one of my top parasocial relationships. I met him at a gig last year and I was an absolute freak, lol. I went to dry my sweaty palms on my trousers but they’re pleather so I just sort of slapped my thighs – nice to meet you, Stu!

Post lockdown

My first gig after lockdown was intense, and I’m not including Zoom, the ones to cars (shoutout Birmingham Airport Carpark 6!) or one I did in Oxford where the audience were on punts! The whole atmosphere was strange because people weren’t used to being sat together again.

Then a pub regular asked if they could do five minutes, not ideal at the best of times. They then did this very dark poem about their lockdown experience ending with ‘RIP’. Then moi.

Jokes weren’t really working given the atmosphere, so I knew just wOne day Stewart Lee couldn’t get in to see my show because it had sold out. That’s the coolest thing ever to happen to me. Second only to Stewart Lee getting in to see my show at to do to bring it back – chat to the crowd. There was a guy in the front row giving off such good energy I thought we could spread that around the room. So I said to him “I like you, you’ve got a twinkle in your eye” and then he said, “I’ve got conjunctivitis. Can you tell?”

Supporting Helen Bauer

When Helen Bauer asked me to be her tour support, I replied instantly in all caps (but with my e-signature because I’m still a professional). I’ve been a huge fan of hers since I saw her do a split-bill at the Fringe with Micky Overman – and realised ‘Oh, OK – this is the comedy I love.’

I learned a lot about myself on the Madam Good Tit tour. I wondered if the audience might find mine and Helen’s acts too similar. Apparently, I misunderstood the vibe I bring. It was just a masterclass watching her shine every night!

One of the highlights of the tour was that I got to explore the nation’s Premier Inns. If I were to win one week in Hawaii or two weeks at any Premier Inn in the UK, I’d go for the latter. Everything’s Premier but the price! Not sponsored. They’ve made that clear when I tag them.

Edinburgh 2022

Seeing my giant poster up in Edinburgh in 2022 was a big deal: I knew I’d be talking about this in therapy for a while. I heard that Lana Del Rey once only bought one billboard for a new album and it was in her exe’s town. I have an ex in Edinburgh, so I guess - same? Hopefully, he saw the good reviews. Hopefully everyone did! Although, maybe not every single quote, for example “Slightly dorky grin.” 4 stars, though.

One day Stewart Lee couldn’t get in to see my show because it had sold out. That’s the coolest thing to ever happen to me. Second only to Stewart Lee getting in to see my show (so, come back this year!).

A humble eatery

I recently did a ‘work in progress’ performance of my new show to six people in the downstairs of what Google called a “humble eatery.” It wasn’t even clearly labelled as a performance space but it was a joy!

There’s a giddiness that can set in when playing intimate rooms, where it’s more like being 12 years old and putting on a show in your parent’s living room. That’s the energy I want to bring to bigger gigs just: “HERE’S MY AMAZING SHOW, I LOVE YOU!”

'Chelsea Birkby: This is Life, Cheeky Cheeky' is coming to the Edinburgh Fringe this August between 1-25th (not 12th) at Just The Tonic at the Cave. It’s a smart, silly and sexy show about lust for life – and you should come along and see what I’m wearing. Book your tickets at