Glancing over the rather risqué publicity shots for Lucy Porter’s latest tour, The Bare Necessities, which arrives at the Harpenden Town Hall on Sunday, you would be forgiven for thinking the sexy brunette was oozing with confidence.
However, the 36-year-old comic, who appears naked and tactically positioned to cover her modesty in the images, insists this is far from the truth: “I was incredibly shy when I was growing up,” she reveals.
“I never did any public speaking and I used to use beta blocker heart medication when I first started doing stand-up.
“I would write out the jokes on bits of paper just in case I lost my way and if I ever had to get them out, I couldn’t hold them still because I was shaking so much.
“It was a good tool actually, because the audience felt so sorry for me that they wouldn’t boo.”
Fast forward a few years, and Lucy, who grew up in Croydon, is on tour with her seventh solo show. Hot on the heels of her sell-out 2008 tour Lucy Porter’s Love In, Edinburgh hit The Bare Necessities offers a slightly different approach to what we have come to expect from the girl-next-door comedienne and her fluffy brand of feel-good comedy.
“I think as you get older you start to become more outward looking, and my personal life has become a little bit more settled, which has allowed me to concentrate on the bigger global issues” she muses. “This show is all about not worrying about the economy, how to be happy without money and what we can do for free.”
She explains with a knowing glint in her eye: “Basically that means sex and silly things like having fun with friends and family and looting and taking stuff for free.
“Now that capitalism has broken down we should all become lawless bandits like Robin Hood, stealing from the rich to give to the poor.”
Lucy, who makes regular TV appearances on comedy shows such as Mock The Week, Never Mind The Buzzcocks and Have I Got News For You, originally devised the idea for the show when the economy was riding high and she was reading a lot of anti-capitalist, anti-materialist books.
Now the economy has headed south, self-help gurus are preaching even louder about getting back to basics, so is the good life something Lucy aspires to?
“I have a fantasy of being a lady writer of romantic fiction and living in a cottage with a dog and a gorgeous house keeper.
“A lot of us who live in the city think of this rural idyll and dream it would be the key to happiness, but farmers have the highest suicide rate and if you listen to The Archers it’s not all fun. The grass isn’t always greener.”
Personally, listening to Lucy’s typical day, I can see why she isn’t in a hurry to give it all up to run off to the back of beyond for a quieter life.
She tells me: “I get up late, do yoga, listen to people’s conversations on the bus there and on the bus back, then use them in my material.” Sounds pretty good to me!
The Bare Necessities arrives at the Harpenden Public Halls on Sunday, March 8, 7.30pm. Details: 01582 767525 or www.leisureconnection.co.uk The tour also comes to the Old Town Hall, Hemel Hempstead, on Saturday, March 21, 8pm. Details: 01442 228091.