There are certain people who seem so likeable on TV but then fail to live up to that expectation when you meet them.

I can assuredly say that Angela Barnes is not one of those people.

From the moment we shake hands, she is chatty and conversational. It’s extremely easy to talk to her and, despite having only met a few minutes prior, when I start my recorder it feels like I have known her for years.

I say this, not to incite some sort of jealousy or brag in any way, but to give you an idea of the kind of person Angela Barnes is.

As the sips at her iced latte – I still don’t understand the appeal of cold coffee – she takes nearly an hour of her time to wind me through her career, her passion for swimming and her dream Brighton comedy line up. All this whilst also preparing for not one but two shows that very same night.

One of the fastest rising stars on the UK comedy circuit, and star of Mock the Week and BBC Radio 4’s The News Quiz, Barnes is just a woman going about her work, getting the job done and making people laugh in the process.

Angela knows Brighton well. Her and her partner have just bought a property in the area and are in the process of moving to the city.

Having studied at Sussex University, Barnes has split most of her time between London and Brighton. However, as we wend out way through a variety of conversation, it’s clear that Angela was always destined to be back in good old Sussex by the sea.

Not only is it the place that she has a strong affinity with, but it is also a hub for comedy across the country.

Angela is one of many comedians who have graduated from the Jill Edwards comedy course at the Komedia, along with the likes of Seann Walsh and Shappi Khorsandi to name just a couple.

What Angela says makes Brighton such a hive for great comedy and comedians is very simple, “It’s got a good comedy club in it, which makes a big difference. If you’ve got a decent comedy club in your city then people go and watch comedy and they get to know what it’s about and gravitate towards it.”, she says.

“Komedia is one of the best in the country.

“I think having that hub is really key to the community here.”

It is also the thrill of performing in Brighton which adds to the buzz the city has, “It tends to be really comedy savvy audiences who are relatively intelligent and appreciate good comedy, which you don’t get everywhere.”

Now, of course, the Komedia is not the only place in Brighton where good comedy can be viewed.

During Edinburgh Fringe preview season, the Caroline of Brunswick is also alive with comedians regularly frequenting the upstairs on the historic pub.

Most people in the city know the Caroline as a place to watch comedy in the city. It wasn’t always this way, however, and we have Angela Barnes herself to thank for that.

“Before I started doing stand-up, I ran a comedy night in Hove at the Farm Tavern. Then the Farm Tavern closed for refurb so I moved it to the Caroline of Brunswick and that was before there were regular comedy nights at the Caroline of Brunswick.” She explains of her early foray into the comedy world.

It was this love for putting on shows that made Angela think a career in comedy could be for her. It was a tragic family event, the passing of her father, that made her finally take the plunge, “I loved comedy and I loved watching it. My dad used to come to the shows at the Farm Tavern and he used to say ‘why don’t you have a go’…I just thought life’s too short.”

Angela graduated from the Jill Edwards comedy course in 2009 and with that took her first steps into the world of stand-up.

As with many comedians, that meant frequent trips to Edinburgh Fringe. This topic takes up much of our discussion, as Angela prepares for this years run of shows in Scotland’s capital of culture.

Speaking of going there as a novice is tough, Angela says, but that it is widely accepted that very few comedians perform Edinburgh with the expectation of coming out in the black, “I think the Ed Fringe can feel a bit like a trade fair, you’re going to sell your wares. I’m lucky to break even in Edinburgh and that’s having done a bit of telly and radio. The first few years I went up there I made a huge loss but it’s an investment in getting people to come and see the show and to know who you are.”

It is this chance to show the world what you’ve got that sees comedians perform preview shows in order to enhance their Fringe set.

She adds that the pressure of the shows – doing 28 in a row is going to be a push for even the most experienced comedian – is daunting but the pay off is worth it, “Everybody who does the fringe comes out of it really match fit because you’ve done a month of solid performing.

“You come away from the Edinburgh Fringe and the first shows you do on the circuit become really easy.”

The build up to the residency is what we are here to discuss. In less than a month Angela will take to the stage with Nish Kumar at the Caroline of Brunswick for one of a few final chances to hone the perfect Edinburgh set.

Nish, himself, has risen to prominence in recent months after his scenes with Rachel Parris on The Mash Report. He and Angela also have a very interesting past. Something Barnes talks me through, “In 2010 I went up to Edinburgh to just do some open spots and sound it all out. I used to tech a lot of shows and I worked with a group called The Leftovers who had been to University with Nish and a guy called Tom Neenan, he’s a really good comedy writer, and they were in a double act.

“The following year they [Nish and Tom] were going up to Edinburgh with their show, their double act was called Gentlemen of Leisure, and they asked me if I would tech their show.

“So I agreed to tech their show for them and then in June I won the new comedy award and I remember Nish texted me the text day saying well done and saying ‘I presume you don’t want to tech our show now?’ and I said yeah, I do.

“I went up and teched their show and they put a little thing on their flyer saying ‘Teched by BBC New Comedy Award Winner - Angela Barnes’.”

It’s this commitment to her friends and her work that has seen Angela rise to such prominence in the UK.

However, this career was a long time in the making. Angela didn’t start her comedy career until she was 33. Before then, I discover, she had a number of other jobs.

The work she seems to be most proud of is that which saw her work with the homeless and people suffering from mental health issues.

As the conversation takes a more serious turn, we discuss issues surrounding homelessness – with it being quite the hot topic here in Brighton.

The frankness and heart that Angela speaks of regarding her time in this work goes to show that comedians are far more than just joke makers.

It becomes clear that this work was very meaningful to Angela, but she admits it did come with many negatives, “To do that for that long it can be demanding and it can be very stressful for most people because you’re working with people in crisis. I worked with a lot of people who had been doing it for a long time and maybe it got to a point where they shouldn’t have been doing it anymore.”

Whilst Angela no longer works with these services it is her time doing that work that makes her eager to help wherever she can, “I go to a lot of different cities for my job and you just see more and more signs of homelessness all the time, at the moment. I can’t fix that myself but what I can do is donate to charities or support them by performing, so there’s ways you can still be useful.”

As our chat works to a lighter note, I am surprised to hear about Angela’s excitement at the new Sea Lanes swimming complex opening in Brighton.

She didn’t learn to swim until 2014 and is now making up for lost time.

Aside from her shows it is taking a dip that fills her time in Edinburgh, “That’s the thing that keeps you grounded.

“I go there every day pretty much.

“There’s a bunch of comics like Mark Thomas, Lucy Porter, me, Sarah Bernetta. We’re a little comedy swim club.”

The idea of a comedians swimming club sounds bizarre and strange but there’s no hiding that once it’s mentioned, I would definitely want to be part of it.

Despite not being a lover of sport, Angela has also signed up for a half marathon in September and whilst she may be short of practice time she’s going to give it her all.

It’s obvious that this is Angela’s mantra throughout all aspects of her life.

This dedication to hard work has made 2018 a stand out year for Angela Barnes; she performed her first Live at the Apollo set and embarked on her first headline tour – with fellow Brightonian Phil Jerrod in tow.

By the time you read this that tour will be over and Angela will be busy preparing for a month of previews before four weeks’ worth of shows at Edinburgh Fringe.

As conversation winds down I ask Angela and it is one thing that Angela says that typifies the entire conversation, “I constantly have to pinch myself…It’s like ‘how can this possibly be happening’.”

I leave Angela to prepare for her show and as I walk away it feels like I’ve got to know far more than Angela Barnes the comedian, and that is exactly how you should feel walking away from an interview.

Angela Barnes plays the Caroline of Brunswick in Brighton, with Nish Kumar, on July 18 For more information or to buy tickets visit: