The Essex-born comedian, who recently starred in BBC news satire The Mash Report, tells EDWIN GILSON about the decision at the heart of her new stand-up show

TO have a baby or not to have a baby, that is the question for Ellie Taylor. The comedian has been pondering the issue for a while. She was planning to base her current show around Donald Trump and the worldwide Women’s March which took place earlier this year, but soon realised that “geo-political musings” were not what she did best.

“All my material is pretty self-reflective,” she says. “I’m really good at talking about myself.” While This Guy might be intensely personal, however, it also revolves around a topic that most people ponder at some point in their lives – childbirth. Taylor, who has hosted the BBC Three programme Snog, Marry, Avoid and appeared on numerous panel shows, says she has the “maternal instinct of a pitta bread”. But should that fact put her off the idea completely? Perhaps not. There are a lot of considerations.

“I don’t have any particular urge to have a child but, also, FOMO [fear of missing out]. If somebody my age has kids now and I don’t, I wonder if I’ll regret missing out in ten years time. But also, what would kids mean from a career point of view? That’s not something blokes have to think about so much. Seeing everyone around me start shooting out children is weird. There are a lot of different pressures knocking around.”

The process of writing a show about the dilemma has, at the very least, helped Taylor in working out the pros and cons of each side.

“I don’t think I’ve thought of that many pros, to be honest,” she says. “I don’t know what kind of parent I would be. I don’t know if I’d be a particular good mum.” But then, as Taylor, points out, lots of prospective mothers ask themselves that question. “I think at some point people of my generation just go, ‘go on then, it’s worth a punt’. What child wouldn’t want to come from a place of absolute ambivalence like that?”

In the spirit of a true artist, Taylor has thought about the bonuses of having a child in terms of the material it would provide. “That would be nice, having a material generator living with you. But babies are quite boring until they get to 18 months. They only start getting funny when they talk.” The comedian, who is married to news journalist Phil Black, speaks fondly of Brighton, having performed here at many Fringes in the past. In fact, she pays the city’s audiences the ultimate compliment.

“I think Brighton is my favourite place to play. It’s sort of like London but with less arrogance. I feel like they’re my people. A really clever, savvy bunch. I feel like I get them and they get me.”

Taylor widened her fanbase by playing a newsreader in recent BBC Two satire programme The Mash Report, fronted by Nish Kumar and written by the team behind spoof news website The Daily Mash. While the comedian by no means classes herself as a satirist, she enjoyed the experience.

“It was interesting to turn up and have lines to say that were already written for me. Some of the headlines have been so funny. Playing that kind of removed, dead-behind-the-eyes newsreader was a lot of fun.”

The combination of a reporter and touring comedian must make for pretty interesting dinner conversations. While Taylor has been known to use her husband as a sounding board for new material, though, she doesn’t feel she’s in a place to return the favour. “I obviously don’t give him help in how he does his news reports,” she laughs. “I would not be good at that. I’d just be like ‘put in a gag’.”

Generally, Taylor says she and Black are a “strange pair but one that seems to work well. We’re good fun at dinner parties – we’ve both got tales to tell”.

Whether Taylor eventually decides to have a baby or not, one thing’s for sure – this engaging, exciting comedian is here to stay.

Ellie Taylor: This Guy, Komedia, Brighton, Sunday, 8pm, for more information and tickets visit or call 01273 647100