Sara Pascoe recalls ‘madness’ of returning to QI five weeks after giving birth to son: ‘I forgot how to laugh’


Sara became a mum earlier this year (Picture: UKTV)

Comedian Sara Pascoe shared how she quickly realised she wasn’t to return to work after a ‘mad’ time appearing on QI just a few weeks after the birth of her first son.

Sara, 41, has recently graced our screens on The Great British Sewing Bee and is now gearing up to go on her Success Story tour later this year.

The star has a very packed schedule towards the end of 2022, which comes just a few months after welcoming her son with fellow comedian husband, Steen Raskopoulos.

When asked whether she’d ever follow in the footsteps of Katherine Ryan and let the newborn make a cameo on-screen, she recalled the nightmare story of her first gig since becoming a mother.

Chatting to about her friend and fellow comedian bringing son Fred onto Mel Giedroyc’s show Unforgivable, she told us: ‘It’s so amazing that she does it, but I also hope that doesn’t become the norm, where women are expected to.

‘I think her first performance with Fred was like eight days after he was born, and I definitely wasn’t in a state to talk out loud!’

She went on to share her experience of being back on panel show QI, her first since giving birth and told us: ’I did QI five weeks after my son was born, and I thought five weeks, it’s QI, such a lovely relaxed show.

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Sara and husband Steen welcomed their son in February (Picture: Instagram/sara.pascoe)

‘I thought, you don’t have to do any prep, you can just be yourself and five weeks [after giving birth], I’ll be okay.’

But it didn’t go so smoothly, as she told us: ‘I was mad. I went bright red, I had a sip of wine and my body couldn’t understand what I was doing! I went bright red. 

‘Then I forgot how to laugh, I was so in my head. Alan Davies was being really funny, and I remember thinking, “Where does my jaw go when I laugh?” 

sara pascoe on QI
She’s appeared on QI many times over the years (Picture: BBC)

‘Then I was thought afterwards, “Oh, this was too soon? I’m absolutely insane.”

Sara has spoken more openly in recent months about her experience with IVF and difficulties conceiving, after not properly opening up to audiences about the fact she was expecting until she was around six months pregnant.

The star’s IVF journey actually inspired the name for the upcoming string of shows too.

She candidly explained: ‘When I was trying to get pregnant and couldn’t, I actually wasn’t very open. The thing with comedy is that you can only really joke about things that you’re fine with like an audience gets very uncomfortable. If something really terrible is happening and you’re trying to make jokes about it before you’re alright, [the audience] can really sense “Oh, this person hurts or going through something.”

sara pascoe on great british sewing bee
She’s currently appearing on The Great British Sewing Bee (Picture: BBC/Love Productions/James Stack)

‘There was actually a couple of years where I didn’t talk about it at all actually became quite defensive, all my jokes were about being childless and I think there was defensiveness. 

‘Once I realised, okay, this pregnancy… I started to trust it a bit more and I was getting quite big, and I was doing gigs, but I wasn’t really talking about being pregnant. Then it got to a point where I thought, “I’m going have to work out how to share this with people.” Because my job is about, number one people can see you, so once you’re six months pregnant…’

She also noted it would have been ‘weird’ to do a whole set about not wanting a family when she was ‘visibly six months pregnant.’

’It was me working out how to let people in a funny way,’ she told us, and remembered the brilliant response she received from fans.


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‘The response to my openness and my vulnerability, I guess about the fact that I’ve been infertile or having IVF, the response was so lovely, and the jokes worked, so it was twofold, but no one was feeling sorry for me. 

‘The audience understood it, it’s a very human thing.’

Tickets for Sara’s Success Story tour can be bought here.

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