Stand-up comedian Zoe Lyons will be returning to South Bucks’ newest venue on the comedy circuit next month – if she can find it, that is. 

“The Potters Arms is a brilliant venue and I get lost every time. I always end up driving round and round narrow country lanes. But what’s great about the comedy circuit is little places like the Potters Arms. It’s run with so much passion and it has a great vibe.” 

Speaking to the Bucks Free Press ahead of her next appearance at the pub – which is fast becoming a must-visit venue for comedians on tour, despite its remote location in the tiny village of Winchmore Hill – Zoe had nothing but praise for pub landlord, Richard Edwards. 

She said: “Richard does a really great job – he’s so passionate about what he does. I’m really looking forward to returning because the comedy nights are great fun. Everyone in the village turns out for them – but let’s face it, there’s probably not much else for them to do around there.” 

Zoe will be making the trip up to the pub from her Brighton home to headline the Potters Arms’ third annual comedy festival on May 4. 

Running for three days, the festival will also feature top comedians Simon Clayton, Eshaan Akbar, Darren Walsh, Russell Hicks, Sol Bernstein, Rhys James and Adam Riches.

So what can audiences expect from Zoe’s performance? 

“If you’ve never seen me before, I’m your classic, observational comedian. Comedy comes out of recognition - if it’s something people can recognise, but haven’t necessarily thought about it that way before.” 

Although she makes people giggle for a living, it is hard to make Zoe laugh (“I always watch everything with an analytical brain”) – but she describes comedian Diane Morgan, who portrays Philomena Cunk, as “brilliant”. 

She said: “I was watching her show while I was on the train the other day and she made me snort with laughter - I had to turn it off.” 

Although Zoe has seen huge success on television, including performing on Live at the Apollo, performing a set on the stage is where she finds most joy. 

She said: “I get more out of being on the stage. While there are pros and cons to both and the telly stuff can be fun, I do prefer performing in front of a live audience. It is much more immediate and intimate. You can see people’s reactions.” 

And Zoe was a “late bloomer” to the comedy circuit - admitting she was “awful” when she first started out. 

She said: “I was mulling over it for years - I thought being on stage and performing and showing off sounded great. 

“I watched a lot of open mic nights when I was living in London and in the end I just bit the bullet and decided to book myself in for a slot. I was absolutely awful, but there was so much relief that I had just done it. And I just carried on.” 

Despite her years of experience, Zoe admits she does still get nervous - but says it is a good thing. 

She said: “I do get nervous but I think I would be worried if I didn’t. People have paid money to come and see you, they’re on a night out, they have paid for a babysitter - the least you could do is be nervous.”

  • The comedy festival runs from May 4 to 6 - visit to buy tickets.