‘It’s Ok to show off’: ELLIE TAYLOR reveals the one lesson she’s learned from life

  • It took comedian, actor and writer Ellie Taylor a long time to admit she wanted to be on stage
  • READ MORE: ‘Most things in life are survivable’: The Reverend Richard Coles reveals the one lesson he’s learned from life

Ellie Taylor, 39, is a comedian, actor and writer.  In 2022, she partnered Johannes Radebe in Strictly Come Dancing. 

She is in the award-winning Apple TV series Ted Lasso and co-presents Bake Off: The Professionals. 

She is married with a daughter and lives in London.


When I was growing up, showing off was seen as a bad thing. I was always silly, but, as a kid, you’re told ‘Stop showing off’ and ‘Oh, she’s such an attention seeker’.

Out of the house, especially when navigating life as a teenager, you don’t want to be different to the others, so I kept the urge to perform under wraps. 

Ellie Taylor, 39, is a comedian, actor and writer, but it took her a long time to admit that she wanted to be on stage 

It took me a long time to say, ‘I do want to be on stage and that’s OK, that’s allowed.’

I joined the drama society at university. As I didn’t know anyone there, I could try and be this performer person. 

I started getting roles, and after graduation, hoped to be an actress or presenter. But I was working in a small bar and — shockingly, no one discovered me! 

Eventually I got a job doing PR and marketing and thought, ‘Oh, this is it.’ I felt I had let myself down because I never wanted a desk job. 

Then, when I was 26, I saw a friend do stand-up and I thought, ‘If you’re doing that, I can, too.’

It was incredibly arrogant to put myself forward for an art form I knew nothing about, but it was the best way because I had no preconceptions about comedy. 

I signed up to do one night and, from then, realised I was more than the girl who orders the mouse mats. I had worth outside my job, and I’d learned it was OK to have a desire to perform.

Ellie is co-presenting Bake Off: The Professionals and is in the award-winning Apple TV series Ted Lasso 

I was working full time so, at 5.30pm, I’d lock myself in the stationery cupboard and go through my set, talking to a stapler. Then I’d do the gig, get back late and go to work next day. 

I didn’t have any intention of leaving my job, but then ended up on a TV show and got an agent. It was a total by-product of just doing something that made me happy — even if it meant showing off!

My daughter is four and loves singing and dancing. There wasn’t any precedent for me — I didn’t know anyone in showbiz — but she is growing up in a very different household. 

I’ve no ambitions to get her an agent or anything — no thanks! But I’d love for her to get joy, like I do, out of performance.

  • Ellie is co-presenting Bake Off: The Professionals, airing on Channel 4 from tomorrow, for ten weeks.

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