INTERVIEW: High Peak comedian’s life of tummy aches and belly laughs

Liz and her husband Luke, baby Eve - who is turning two next month - and their dog out enjoying the countryside.
Liz and her husband Luke, baby Eve - who is turning two next month - and their dog out enjoying the countryside.

An actor and comedian went on some of her first dates with her husband while ill in hospital.

Liz Roberts, who is known on the stage as Liz Richardson, loves her life in the Chinley countryside with her husband and daughter and has just finished a two-week stint at the Edinburgh Fringe Festival.

Liz on stage next to her toilet as she breaks down barriers and stigma.

Liz on stage next to her toilet as she breaks down barriers and stigma.

The 34-year-old said: “I’m in a very fortunate place in both my career and personal life at the moment, which is worlds apart from where I was a decade ago.”

Liz moved down to London to attend acting school nearly 12 years ago, and worked on West End productions as well as Radio 3 shows. Later, she toured with comedian Jenny Eclair.

While Liz was working she became very ill and was diagnosed with Ulcerative colitis, which is a long-term condition where the colon and rectum become inflamed.

Liz, who was born in Cumbria, said: “I spent a lot of time in hospital and was constantly in pain.

“This disease conflicted with everything a person in their 20s should be doing. I wanted to go out partying and drinking, but I couldn’t do it. This was very difficult for me to deal with.”

She was so ill she lost acting jobs and her agent. It was then she decided to go it alone and started writing comedies, working as an office temp to help pay the bills.

It was around this time she met her husband Luke.

Liz said: “He kept wanting to take me out on dates but I was too afraid he would leave me because I was ill and I didn’t want to get hurt.”

Luke did not give up on Liz and was with her when she underwent surgery to have her large intestine removed and a j-pouch fitted.

She said: “Our relationship accelerated really quickly and I was discussing my future and my possible lack of fertility with a man I hadn’t known very long, but he saw me at my very, very worst and stuck around. Like my mum said, he really is a keeper.”

She moved with Luke up to the countryside and says they were blessed with a little girl, Eve, nearly two years ago.

Liz added: “The most important job you can do in the world is welcome the next generation.”

Life on the road for comedian Liz

Liz has just finished a two-week run at the Edinburgh Fringe Festival with her play Gutted, which is a shameless tale of love, laughter and lavatories and her battle with illness.

She said: “I have been fortunate to show this in Manchester for a while before Edinburgh and it was a sell-out success which was great.

“This show is a celebration of the health care system. It explores how we treat each other and form relationships, the nature of hidden disabilities and femininity in the face of an embarrassing physical condition.”

She has been living in Edinburgh for two weeks while the show was on and said she really missed Eve.

“I love being a mum and a wife but it does get to me when I’m away from my family and I can’t see them everyday, although they have been coming up at weekends,” she said.

In her spare time, she enjoys camping and trips to see her brother in Devon.