The Annagram is preparing for her first stand-up gig next week.

This involves being permanently pissed whilst shouting into a toy microphone in my study every evening.

Also, I’m on the loo a lot.

The gig organiser/promoter has loaned me an inspirational quote etched onto a cute teeny wooden plaque:


Which is very brill and supportive, but losing my fear of failure would turn me into a completely different person, the kind who devours life and embraces challenges like getting fit and quitting smoking and drinking responsibly on a Tuesday and seeking actual publication of her books and generally not believing that she is a grotesque turd-of-a-twat who must never leave the house because everyone thinks she’s a massive show-off arsehole annoyance…

How to feel useless and turdish and yet also be happy and productive…that is my shit-burger.*

*Shit-burger: a term learned from my wise brother-in-law. It means the thing in life you know you have to deal with but don’t want to. That is your shit-burger…and you gotta eat it all up my friends or it’ll keep turning up on your plate.

So my stand-up will be all about feeling the fear and doing it anyway because that is what I seem to be doing, and that other pissy platitude about doing something every day that scares you (which irresponsibly encourages shoplifting and speeding) because despite my deep terror, I am also certain this will be a very lovely Annagrammy thing to do that will make me laugh mucho even if the audience don’t and Gwyneth will be there to support me/stop me getting nervy-hammered and watch it all through his fingers whilst rocking back and forth and wishing he’d married that sensible girl from accounts with the cheekbones.

But, for me to realise this dream, I need your help. I need to know YOUR deepest fears.

What makes you shallow-breathe at the thought of it? Job interview? Brazilian? PTA School Fair? Your partner?

What makes you gif at the sight? Snakes? Spiders? Cardigans? Your partner’s chin?

My two biggest fears are death and frogs, (but not dead frogs because I want them all to be dead)…

Oh please share with me, my darling fuckety-upped readers, then I can steal all your ideas and pass them off as my own…well I AM AN ACTUAL WRITER Y’KNOW. No, what I want to do is share a few of your best ones on the night (anonymously of course, especially if the thing that makes you most phobic and YAKKY is the merest glimpse of your own children…)

Also, my likes and shares are a bit sluggish (eeeeugh, slugs – another YAK) at the mo which makes me pile on yet another layer of turdishness to my already enormous heap of turdishness…so please do comment, like and share and then I will be able to wash off all the turdishness before the gig and stand up there all sparkly and unfailing and fearless…and that’s another thing – WHAT ON BRIAN COX’S EARTH DO I WEAR?

I am 42 and not a hilarious transvestite so have no USP in that regard. I am just a plump, middle-aged (I hope, 84 would be a triumph of luck over lifestyle choices) and am prone to resembling the disturbed and abandoned love-child of Pat Butcher and Boris Johnson, which is not a look I want to go for on this occasion, my international stage debut in front of thousands of fans/a few mates-who-I’ve-plied-with-gin-and-craft beers…

I await your expert help in these vital matters over the course of this weekend…

Also, Nice: je suis avec vous…which is about all I know how to say in French but all I need to say today…