After a sell-out tour last Spring, and a bit of a lockdown break, Sandi Toksvig is returning to St David’s Hall with her one-woman comedy show. If you’ve never seen her live, I can guarantee she is fantastic.

Sandi realises some people harbour an ambition to be a National Treasure but following a misunderstanding with a friend has decided instead to become a National Trevor – half misprint, half Danish comedian, novelist, actor and broadcaster.

Expect tall stories, fascinatingly funny facts, really silly jokes, a quick fire Q&A and a quiz. Don’t expect tap-dancing, leotards or a forward roll.

Sandi is everything you would expect her to be and more. I remember a few years ago, sitting in a large boardroom in her publishers office talking to her about her then latest book. She was funny, warm and every bit as kind and considerate as we’d hoped for. It was a great couple of hours and a time I remember fondly.

Born in Copenhagen, Denmark, Sandi was brought up around the world in Europe, Africa and the United States. She began her comedy career at Girton College, Cambridge where she found time to write and perform in the first all-woman show at the Footlights as well as achieve a first-class degree.

She started in children’s television playing Ethel in the long-running Saturday-morning show Number 73. Since then she’s appeared in, or fronted pretty much everything. The celebrated series Call My Bluff (as regular team captain) and Whose Line Is It Anyway? She was also host of Antiques Master for BBC2 and 1001 Things You Should Know for Channel 4.

In 2016, Sandi took over from Stephen Fry as host of ‘QI’, BBC2’s fiendishly difficult and hugely popular quiz. She also replaced William G. Stewart as the host of the popular teatime quiz Fifteen to One which made its comeback after 11 years in April 2014.

Of course, it was back in 2017 when she and Noel Fielding became the then new co-hosts of ‘The Great British Bake Off’. I think we all agree that the pair slipped into the role perfectly. Here’s a little look at them, in particular Sandi helping out, and when I say helping out, I don’t mean that at all……

Sadly Sandi has left GBBO after three series, and as good as Matt Lucas will be, we are certainly going to miss her.

Sandi said at the time of her announcement…….

‘When stepping down from a job it is quite common for people to say they are doing so in order to spend more time with their family. Unusually I am departing from the Great British Bake Off so I can spend more time with my other work.

‘As my waistline will testify, Bake Off is an all-consuming show.’

(Picture: Mark Bourdillon)

‘Spending time with Prue, Paul and Noel has been one of the great pleasures of my life. These are friendships which I know will continue beyond the confines of television. ‘Bake Off is a wonderful programme which has already proved it can happily withstand a change of hosting personnel. The reason for that, of course, is that the true stars of the show are the bakers themselves. I wish everyone well.’

GBBO Judge Prue Leith said…..

‘I have absolutely loved working with Sandi, she’s been a brilliant host and enormous fun and I am in awe of how hard she works juggling so many different projects.’

Sandi is absolutely passionate about live shows. She performed at the very first night of The Comedy Store in London and for many years was a member of The Comedy Store Players, an improvisational comedy team. Sandi conceived Playhouse Live for Sky Arts, producing specially commissioned live drama for television and for three years was both a writer for the series and the executive producer.

Much of Sandi’s time is devoted to writing and last year she became president of the Writers’ Guild of Great Britain. She has more than 20 fiction and non-fiction books for children and adults to her credit.

She is an activist for gender equality. In 2014 she co-founded the Women’s Equality Party. Sandi has also received an OBE but is yet to be made a National Trevor.

Make sure you check out Sandi’s #VoxTox channel on YouTube, or you can listen to it as a podcast. Not only is it really entertaining but all proceeds from ads go to the @TrussellTrust network of food banks. So watch, listen and make sure you spread the word.

Incidentally, nice to the see the Hay Festival sweatshirt on Sandi. A great event (the festival not the sweatshirt) which will also return next year.

On the subject of Books, Sandi’s new one is out now. Toksvig’s Almanac 2021: An Eclectic Meander Through the Historical Year, guides us through 2021, sharing stories of fascinating women forgotten by history. This eclectic meander through the calendar, illuminating neglected corners of history to tell tales of the fascinating figures you didn’t learn about at school.

From revolutionary women to serial killers, pirate nuns to pioneering civil rights activists, doctors to dancing girls, artists to astronauts, these pages commemorate women from all around the world who were pushed to the margins of historical record. Amuse your bouche with: There are some signed copies to pre-order and you can do that HERE

Sandi gets to St David’s Hall in Cardiff on Wednesday 26th May, at 7:30pm. For more details and to get tickets, which are priced between £22.50 and £33, either call the box office on their temporary number (they are closed till November) 07391 791934. The phone line is manned Monday to Friday from 9.30am to 4.00pm, but it does get very busy. Or you can go here. SANDI


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