Susan Calman

She may be pocket-sized, but Scottish funny-woman Susan Calman punches above her weight, from the comedy clubs of Glasgow to the telly's most illustrious panel shows.

Susan Calman Profile

If you've ever laughed so hard at a stand-up you've found yourself thinking their dark art-form should be illegal, Susan Calman may be just the woman to seek out. She was, in a different incarnation, a practicing lawyer, even spending time with folks on America's Death Row.

Swapping one bunch of gloomy borderline psychopaths for another, Susan decided to throw her lot in with the stand-up world, and very quickly started bagging some seriously nifty awards, including a Scottish BAFTA and Best New Scottish Comedian.

While her two most natural environments are the live circuit and, increasingly, Radio 4's pun-slinging corridors, Susan's also carved out a heck of a TV CV, with appearances on QI, Have I Got News For You and a host of other satirical, newsy panel shows, where her book-learnin' has combined perfectly with her well-crafted wit.

Despite her modest claims about basing her career on talking about cats, there's far more to Susan's act than our four-legged feline friends, and of late she's started making use of her political savvy and passion to make us think as well as chortle.

She's starred in a radio series called Susan Calman Is Convicted. Luckily not involving a harrowing Deirdre Barlow-style wrongful acquittal, it was Susan holding forth on some of the burning issues which make her all hot under the collar. Her recent live shows have had a personal and political slant, including routines about same-sex partnerships – Susan and her partner legalised theirs in 2012 – and Scottish Independence.

It was this tartan-bothering business which landed Susan in the hottest water. Daring to mock the issue of Scotland becoming its own nation saw her receive a raft of online heckling usually reserved for Justin Bieber's latest crush.

Fortunately Susan's made of stern stuff, and rode out the vitriol, cannily blogging about it and defusing all the hotheads with her trademark good sense and ready mirth-making skills. No surprise to see her coping well under pressure though – forget the legal training, she once described being gay in Glasgow as like being "a vegan abattoir worker." Nice.

Friends of Dave