There’s something about lady comedians and pants. A few months back it was Jenny Eclair informing this newspaper that if she was asked on Desert Island Discs, and if she had to take one item of usefulness, it would be the aforementioned large underwear.
In her most recent interview Millican gets to speculating about the possible uses for her spare pants, which, she reckons, can be popped on your head to make sure your rollers don’t fall out of your hair.
Other uses, less publishable, and, one suspects, even funnier will be discussed in her Home Bird tour, which rocks up to the Pavilion on Thursday and later again in March.
“I love being funny about everyday life and talking about the things people think but don't like to talk about in public,” she says.
Her favourite part of the show is where she starts quizzing her own audience. “You never know what you're going to hear and it's always unpredictable and funny,” she says.
And she should know. It’s easier to list the awards and plaudits Millican hasn’t won than those she has: the People’s Choice vote for Queen of Comedy at last year’s British Comedy Awards; she was the 2008 Best Newcomer at the Edinburgh Festival Fringe.
She’s done the Royal Variety show, Have I Got News For You and Michael McIntyre’s Comedy Roadshow. Her series, The Sarah Millican Television Programme, returned to BBC Two at Christmas, while her latest DVD, Thoroughly Modern Millican Live, is doing hot business.
Not bad at all for a South Shields lass who suffered from bullies at school and, when her marriage fell apart ten years ago, chronic low-esteem.
Well, it was low until her father (who sounds like he has the comedy gene himself) told her, in an effort to cheer her up: “'Well, love, you’re bound to be upset... you’ve lost everything... you’ve got nothing left.”
It was these words that got her the big laugh at her first gig, a tough Newcastle pub.
Until then no one had laughed, remembers Millican, for two-and-a-half minutes – which seems like a lifetime for a stand-up.
But who could fail to be guided by a man who always told his daughter that the word ‘can’t’ doesn’t exist apart, says Sarah, when you want to: “Stick your bum out of the window, run downstairs and throw stones at it. Apart from that, you can do anything,'' she insists.
Certainly Sarah shows all the signs, her Christmas marriage to fellow comic Gary Delaney being a point. She announced it on Twitter and then pronounced her followers as ‘smashers’ for their kind words and thoughts.
She’s even so nice that she’s remained on good terms with her ex-husband’s sister, who is happy to sing her praises to journalists.
So what is she promising on this tour?
Giving up the (Ann Summers) party scene, easing off on the drinking (fizzy pop equals wealthy dentists) and settling down (taking her bra off) in the company of her ‘furry baby’ (the cat).
For Sarah Millican, home is where the laughs are.
Sarah Millican, Home Bird – Pavilion, Bournemouth, Thursday, January 30