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Last Woman on Earth With Sara Pascoe: Her unusual London career before comedy and how abortion joke on breakfast TV got her in trouble

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Sara Pascoe is well known as one of the funniest women in stand-up and has had scores of TV panel show appearances as well as dramatic roles to her name over the years.

But not all her TV appearances have gone to plan, and one particular joke made a very awkward scene on a chat show.

But what fans of the comedian might not know is that before her comedy took off, Sara, 40, had an iconic London job in London that was a key stepping stone on her way to fame.

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Sara is an East London native, born in Dagenham before growing up in Romford and going to school in Barking.

So before she’d got into comedy and was an aspiring actor, Sara made ends meet by working as a London tour guide.

Sara cut her teeth in front of a crowd as a London tour guide

She told the Evening Standard in 2016: “I did it for three or four summers, I really loved it.

“You go round and round taking all these notes and then a little bit like a stand up show, you start doing it in these five minute segments.

“Sometimes it’s easy, you get St Paul’s Cathedral, other times, it’s that bit between Harrods and Kensington Station and you’re stuck in traffic and you have to think of things to say…

“It’s one of those retrospective things that I look back and think, ‘oh, I never would been a comic if I hadn’t done that job.’ It gets you used to babbling and being looked at.”

It’s a good thing Sara got used to the awkwardness of being looked at early on in life, as it served her well during a cringe-worthy experience on Sunday Brunch, the channel four breakfast chat show on Sundays.

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While chatting to hosts Tim Lovejoy and Simon Rimmer, Sara was asked what she would and wouldn’t use for her comedy material.

She explained “People… might think you’re trying to make them look stupid,” before then adding with a smile: “Or they don’t want everyone to know about their abortion, so you have to double-check.”

The joke went down like a lead balloon with the tension on screen palpable.

Reflecting on the awkward encounter while speaking to the Guardian, Sara said: “They acted like I’d said I kill babies,” she laughed: “Like, I knife them in the head, like I’ll give anyone an abortion who’s watching.

“I mean honestly, they acted like I’d said something so crude.

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Sara Pascoe is a household face in comedy

“Part of having it as a human right is that it’s also possible to talk about it without shame. Even on breakfast TV sometimes.”

Unfortunately Sara was never invited back after the awkward moment but she has no regrets.

She continued: “One in three of their female viewers will have had a termination.

“And I really checked myself afterwards, like, ‘Do I regret it?’ But it was just the worst thing I could think about at the time, as in, in terms of if you were going to expose someone.”

You can catch Sara in her new travel show Last Woman on Earth tonight at 9pm on BBC One.

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