TO say that comedian Tanyalee Davis is pretty busy at the moment is something of an understatement.

She’s about to head off with her first solo tour, Actual Size, but she is also the driving force behind the #scootergirl campaign to improve transport facilities for disabled passengers and is heading an anti-bullying programme in schools, Gr8 As U R.

“I’m just trying to juggle things,” she said. “I’m wearing three hats right now.”

At just three feet six inches tall - Tanyalee has a form of dwarfism called diastrophic dysplasia - but she has never let her disability stand in her way.

Although she has been a successful stand-up for many years her profile has increased recently following a series of shocking incidents which have seen her stranded on the tarmac at Stansted Airport after the airline ‘lost’ her mobility scooter and being reduced to tears by a train guard after he demanded she remove her scooter from a disabled space on the train.

Last week she was subjected to a foul-mouthed rant from a woman on a train which hit the headlines.

“I want to try and keep things as separate as I can,” said Tanyalee. “I’m very serious about the #scootergirl campaign and I know that I’m advocating for a lot of people.”

She’s adamant that she would never exploit her new-found campaigning fame to promote her comedy career

“If people want to find out more about me and see that I’m also a comedian, that’s fine,” she said. “But they are such serious issues and something I want to help with as much as I can.

“I know from the support I’ve had over the past few weeks that people have been shocked about what happens to so many people on a regular basis.”

Tanyalee has been working with Great Western Railways to look at the issue of how disabled passengers are treated.

“The main issue is the lack of communication between guards, ground staff and the disable passengers,” she said. “We need to limit the stress and abuses on either side.”

As if one high profile campaign wasn’t enough, Tanyalee is looking to develop the work she does with the non profit making organisation Gr8 As U R. Currently operating within schools in Norfolk where she lives, the aim is to roll it out across the country.

“The tag line is ‘stop bullying before it starts’,” she said. “We are trying to get to the kids as early as possible and show them that it’s OK for them to accept their differences and if they love themselves they are less likely to bully other people.

“The response that we have received has been absolutely phenomenal. I never thought I’d find anything as rewarding as stand-up but it is so cool going in to schools and seeing the kids respond so well to me.

“I show slides from my life and although initially they may see me as a little lady I show them photos of me on top of the Rocky Mountains or scuba diving and they’re kind of mind blown by it.”

A series of lesson plans have been devised which build on Tanyalee’s visits.

“We originally talked to three to seven-year-olds which proved so successful we now work with children up to 11 and even secondary school age.

“I can only be in one place at one time so we’re going to record what I do in the classroom which can be accessed by schools. I’ve accumulated large list of people, some of which are comedians, some disabled friends of mine so that we have a have network across the country so that we can expand what we are doing.”

Born in Canada, Tanyalee admits that she initially she had no desire to be a comedian.

“I didn’t even know about stand-up,” she said. “I wanted to be an actress, that was my thing. Throughout school I’d try out for for the plays but I always seemed to be given the part of an inanimate object like a tree rather than something I could get my teeth into.”

Her first encounter with comedy when she was 18 and working in children’s theatre.

“There was a guy in the production who asked me to come and watch him at a comedy club,” she said. “I went and he was so bad, but I instinctively knew what he was doing wrong.

“When I saw stand up and how you can just get up there and perform it was like ‘bingo, this is it’.”

Some 28 years later and with success on both sides of the Atlantic, Tanyalee’s clearly found her vocation.

Now she’s coming to Manchester with her Actual Size tour.

“I have never taken a show on tour before,” she said. “I just want to do something a little bit different.

“When I do the club show you go on and bang it out but with this I won’t be coming out hitting hard. I have enough time to ease into the show so it is woven a lot differently to a comedy club slot and has a lot more storytelling within it.

“It’s very liberating to have that time and space

“It is great if people say ‘I’ve had a rough week and saw your comedy and it’s made me feel much better’. If that helps anybody that’s great. I just do what I do and as long as it’s positive I’m thrilled with whatever response I get.”

Tanyalee Davis, Actual Size tour, Frog and Bucket, Manchester, Sunday, September 23. Details from