FOR someone who describes herself as having been “backed into the limelight”, Sue Perkins managed to convince festivalgoers that she was born for it.
From the moment she stepped on to the Kenton stage, it appeared that she was perfectly at home — so much so that it started to feel less like an interview than a conversation over a cup of tea and cake, à la Bake Off. There she sat, cross-legged and feet on the cushion beneath her, her free Waitrose coffee in one hand, as if she might be chatting with friends on her living room sofa.
Perkins was thoroughly captivating, addressing her audience so directly that you really could have believed that you were her sole company.
She brought sheer hilarity to the theatre, the entire audience in fits of laughter only two minutes in, yet somehow artfully balanced the comedy with moments of gravitas.
For instance, the story of her relationship with a man led to a discussion of her views on sexuality: as a spectrum, as opposed to black and white, one or the other.
Her words, her entire demeanour, had a sincerity and warmth that was quite enchanting.
One word ended up recurring over the evening’s duration, and on reflection, it does indeed seem the most appropriate way to describe Sue Perkins — kind.
It was a delight to hear that the Bake Off family are just as they’re depicted on screen, with her affectionate tales of Mary Berry — or “Big Bezza” — and her fierce love for Mel Giedroyc — her “platonic life wife”.
Long after the questions ended, Perkins lingered to take photos with her fans, and signed each and every copy of her new memoir, Spectacles, a self-proclaimed love letter to friends and family.
Thanks to Sue, it was near impossible to leave that evening without a smile, and she can feel content in knowing that her promise was fulfilled — she truly did “bring the lolz”.