Classic Interview: Miranda Hart

Ok, I confess. I can't always spot an embryonic superstar. I used to see Miranda Hart's shows at the Edinburgh Festival every year and while I always giggled I dismissed her performances as self-conscious, galumphing, knockabout fluff. One year I was due to review her show – a spoof chat show, I think – and it was cancelled at the last minute. An indication of either how haphazard she was or what a perfectionist she was and she didn't want to put something under par above the parapet. At the time I thought it was the former. On reflection it was probably the latter. Little did I know that this perfectionist revival of old school humour was her unique selling point and that a handful of years later she would be TV's tallest female superstar. This interview took place in December 2011 and first appeared in the British Comedy Awards magazine. BD.

Miranda Hart still remembers her best Christmas present from her youth: "My mother bought me a sunflower that sang Bring Me Sunshine, which was my favourite song. But my parents also told me not to be silly. I think the reason I became a comedian was so that I could spend my whole life being silly."

For the unashamedly jolly 39-year-old, Christmas starts soon after the previous Christmas. "I've clearly turned into my mother. If I see something in February that I think will make a good present I buy it. I'm officially an adult because I have a present draw. And for me thats deeply concerning."

After a hectic year preparing for the 2012 move of her sitcom from BBC2 to BBC1 Hart is planning a festive break: "I'm spending it at my parents' house with my younger sister, brother-in-law, niece and nephew. As soon as I arrive I become one of my sister's children, both needy and ridiculous. I'll end up looking like a nutter and behaving embarrassingly. I do it every year."

There is one thing she may not be doing this year. "I used to love tobogganing, but now I worry about falling off and injuring myself. I got to 35 and got scared of rushing down a flight of stairs. Back then there was the freedom to throw yourself down a steep hill without a care in the world."

As a teenager Hart's Christmas morning task was preparing the potatoes, but as any smart, uncooperative adolescent would do, she found a way round that: "I decided that roast potatoes should definitely have skins on because I couldn't be bothered to peel them." Nowadays her signature dish is bread sauce. "It's a case of would you like some turkey with your bread sauce rather than would you like some bread sauce with your turkey."

So what would Miranda like this Christmas? Certainly not another of her childhood gifts: "When I was fifteen I asked for a ghettoblaster and got wellington boots. I stormed out in a sulk." In fact if any bigwigs out there want to get in her good books there is something she would like: "I'm still renting, so if anybody wants to buy me a house that would be nice.”

And how about Christmas in ten year’s time? “Barbados with Simon Cowell, Gary Barlow, Jason Donovan and French and Saunders. With Eric Morecambe coming back from the dead.”

The third series of Miranda is currently on BBC1 on Monday at 9pm. Miranda Hart embarks on a UK tour, including a show at London's O2 Arena, in 2014.

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