A BOLTON comedienne is preparing to hit the road for her debut stand-up show On the Record.

Sophie Willan was hailed a breakout star of last year’s Edinburgh Fringe Festival and has been nominated for a top comedy award.

Now the stand-up star is setting off on a 24- date UK tour, including nine nights at London’s Soho Theatre. The tour starts in Leeds this Saturday.

She said: “I’ve attended the Fringe before with a theatre show in 2014 but I really enjoyed going up this year with my first stand-up show – it was a real buzz.

“I was really pleased with the response from audiences and the buzz the show had surrounding it. It’s a dream come true to have a sell out run and lovely reviews.

“All of the places will be wonderful to visit. I’m really excited to be performing at The Lowry in March because it’s a home crowd and in a big space – so that should be really raucous.

“I also can’t wait to be at Soho Theatre in London this April. I’ve wanted to perform there for years – so to have a nine-date run there is very exciting.”

Sophie grew up without a mother or father and lived in several areas around the borough including Bromley Cross, Tonge Moor, Halliwell and Heaton.

The former Turton High School pupil was in and out of foster care and eventually placed with her grandmother from the age of eight to 15 before finding a place in the Bolton Young Persons Housing Scheme and was with the organisation until she was 18.

At the age of 23, the state unexpectedly handed over all of her personal records and in her deeply personal show, she explores who she is today through the eyes of the numerous experts who assessed her growing up.

She explains: “Sometimes people, who have had similar experiences or have worked in social work, want to discuss the show themes with you and share their own experiences.

“Depending on the person and approach, it can either be really nice and really interesting or it can feel a bit much. I think the key is being compassionate and kind but also protecting yourself too.”

Having only started performing stand-up in 2015, Sophie’s comic style has already taken her to numerous competition finals, including the prestigious Amused Moose Laugh Off and The Magners New Act, where she was crowned Winner.

To top off a whirlwind 18 months, Sophie has appeared as the weekly resident comic on Up Late With Rylan on Channel 5, and shows including Fresh from the Fringe, loose Ends and Lemn Sissay’s Origin Stories on BBC Radio 4.

She has now been nominated as Best Newcomer in the Chortle Awards 2017 and has big plans after the tour.

She adds: “I’m really excited to start my tour and am over the moon to be nominated for the prestigious Chortle Best Newcomer Award!

“I’ve got a few things in the pipeline and will be on Alan Davies’ As Yet Untitled in April. I’m also writing my new show now ready for Edinburgh Festival in August.”

On the Record is supported from Public Funding by Arts Council England. It starts at Leed’s Trouble at Mill on Saturday, with the Greater Manchester stop at The Lowry on March 12, and culminates on June 23 at Swansea’s Pontardawe Arts Centre.