The concept of shame isn't new to any of us. For some people, it's a chronic experience that doesn't bear thinking about. But for people like comedian Lou Sanders, it's something well worth monetising.

Lou Sanders / Photo Credit: Idil Sukan

Lou Sanders / Photo Credit: Idil Sukan

It's been 12 years since Lou began her comedy journey. She's won the Comedian's Choice Award at the Edinburgh Fringe, appeared on 8 out of 10 Cats, Taskmaster and The Russell Howard Hour, and now she's making money telling all about the most shameful experiences of her life.

She's currently touring her Shame Pig show, which is all about "addiction, making mistakes and all the horrible things [she's] done". It might sound a bit serious, but if you've seen Lou perform you'll know that no subject is immune from her light-hearted humour.

"As I get older, I do want to add a bit more depth to my comedy", she explained when Female First sat down to chat with her. "But even if I'm talking about a really heavy topic, I have to do it in a silly way."

One of the reasons we love Lou Sanders is her apparent shamelessness in her comedy; though that doesn't mean that she doesn't feel hugely ashamed on some occasions. For example, she found a novel way to deal with an incessant heckler following one of her London shows (though we wouldn't recommend it as a solution for other up-and-coming stand-up comics).

"I was once having an argument with this table of people at a Christmas gig in central London and at the end of the show, because this heckler was being such a tool, I tipped him back on his chair and sent him across the floor", she confessed. "I don't think either of us left with our dignity that night."

While getting physical is generally not the best technique to deal with people who are trying to put you down, we certainly applaud her unwavering badass-ness. Indeed, it recently came out again when she called out Russell Kane on his Evil Genius podcast for not paying her quite as much attention as his male guests.

"He is a lovely man but he was giving me absolutely no eye contact whatsoever. You feel invisible", she said. "It's not his fault, it's unconscious bias. And it wasn't because I wasn't being funny, I was really holding my own. It was just he was used to talking to the men in the room."

The topic, incidentally, had moved on to sexism, and it was at that point that Lou decided to confront Russell on his lack of engagement. He attempted to deny it at first, but he eventually conceded that Lou probably wasn't being treated entirely equally.

Lou Sanders / Photo Credit: Idil Sukan
Lou Sanders / Photo Credit: Idil Sukan

"He was sensitive about it at first being like 'Oh, my back hurts and I can't turn round'", she recalled. "But then he took it on board and he was like 'Yeah, I probably have [unconsciously been avoiding eye contact]' and the producer was a woman and she was like 'Russell, you absolutely have'."

All credit to him, he left the slightly uncomfortable exchange in the podcast so we can all enjoy his awkward response. But, in all seriousness, this is a world where women still don't get nearly as many opportunities as men to use their voices and it's important to address these moments when they come up.

"No-one said it was a fair world but then if you have to fight harder, it makes you better", Lou mused. "I think some female comedians are some of the strongest comedians going because they've had to work harder."

In between her Shame Pig shows, Lou will also be previewing her upcoming Edinburgh show entitled Say Hello To Your New StepMummy ("I wanted to call it The Face That Launched a Thousand D**ks but they said it was harder to get that in print").

Lou Sanders tours the UK with Shame Pig until 5th June. Tickets and info can be found at

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