EP63 – Ariane Sherine – How to move from TV writer to stand up comedian

Ask The Industry Podcast Comments

EP63 – Ariane Sherine – How to move from TV writer to stand up comedian


Total run time: 1 hour 28 mins 57 secs.

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About Ariane Sherine…

Ariane Sherine (@ArianeSherine) is a British musical stand-up comedian, comedy writer and journalist. She created the Atheist Bus Campaign, which ran in 13 countries during January 2009. In her career in TV she’s written for My Family, Two Pints of Lager and a Packet of Crisps, Countdown, The Story of Tracy Beaker and more!

You can join her mailing list to hear about adventures as a stand up by emailing her on ariane.sherine@gmail.com.

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Here’s a list of questions we covered…

Dating in Comedy…

TV writer…

  • To answer your questions: I wrote for TV because I came runner-up in the BBC Talent New Sitcom Writers’ Award in 2002. [7 mins 20 secs]
  • What were you doing before working in TV? [8 mins]
  1. Frank Turner
  • How writers are pretty unknown in TV and how to build a following for writing. [12 mins]
  • What knock backs did you get when breaking into TV? [27 mins 14 secs]
  • Writing for different shows tone of voice [36 mins 41 secs]
  1. Save the cat book
  • I then did a Children’s BBC scheme where I was mentored by Jane Dauncey, the Exec Producer of Tracy Beaker, and got to write for The Story of Tracy Beaker and Two Pints of Lager and a Packet of Crisps,
  • After which I got an agent (Holly at Casarotto Ramsay and Associates). [14 mins]
  • Why did you go with them? Did they help? What was the your thought process behind signing?

Stand up comedy…

  • I did six months on the comedy circuit in 2003, and reached the Laughing Horse New Act of the Year Final but gave up before performing in it, because I was scared of getting a bad Chortle review and worried this would impact my TV writing work.  [1 mins 12 secs]
  • How did she start getting paid gigs and why did she move into stand up? [3 mins 20 secs]
  • Do you think reviews really have that much of an impact?
  • Is this routine lazy… why did you want to ask that? If you worried if it was, wouldn’t you drop it? [57 mins]


  • How does she earn money at the moment? [48 mins]
  • What does an average day look like for a professional writer? [55 mins 10 secs]

Other projects…

  • The atheist bus campaign [17 mins]

Other questions…

  • What are the best books on comedy, writing, stand up etc you’ve read? [1 hour 14 mins 45 secs]
  1. Save the cat.
  • What’s the biggest mistake you’ve ever made and how did you get over it? [1 hour 14 mins 45 secs]
  • Who do you think is the most underrated person in your industry? [1 hour 16 mins]
  1. John Fleming
  • What do you think is the biggest problem in the comedy industry and how would you go about solving it? [1 hour 16 mins 25 secs]
  • Best bit of advice you’ve ever been given? [1 hour 18 mins]










Simon Caine is a comedian, author, podcaster, writer and social media manager. He's the host of the Ask The Industry Podcast (iTunes link) , writer of jokes for Twitter and teller of gags on the London comedy scene. He's also the person writing this and it is taking all his willpower not to make a "Simon Says" joke.
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