As the Edinburgh TV Festival draws closer, Dawn Porter’s stand-up set is starting to take shape - but she is still struggling with the last laugh.

I have spent the week receiving offers from people to write my set for me, and I have declined every one. This is a matter of pride. I cannot get up there and make people laugh (or not) with material that didn’t come right out of my head. How would I ever know if I can do this or not if I did that?

I know that many singers don’t write their own songs, and that actors hardly ever have anything to do with the words they act, but I feel like this is my moment, and win or lose it has to all be from me.

So, with that in mind you can imagine my frustration at the fact that I haven’t yet managed to write much at all.

I know how I am starting, and I think it is going to work really well. I have an idea of how the middle is going to go, but the ending is what is killing me. The very title of this event ‘The Last Laugh’ means I have to leave them on an outburst (from them, not me). I have to build up to a really funny finale and when I walk off that stage that audience must be laughing. That is the bit that is terrifying me the most. They MUST be laughing.

I am worried about my nerves on the day. Even if I feel I have written the funniest set in the history of Comedy Central I know how out of control my knees get when I am scared, so I worry the sound of them smashing together will be louder than my voice. There is also the small issue of my womb.

For some reason, when I get nervous my womb goes into spasm and causes me severe abdominal pain. The last time this happened was a few weeks ago when I was opening a run in Battersea Park. All I had to do was get on stage, shout good luck and shake a bottle of Champagne at everyone, but my womb seemed to think I had a gun to my head.

Anyway, enough about my reproductive organs, I have writing to do.

I am getting there. If I can nail this ‘Last Laugh’ then I think I am gonna be fine. Womb dependent of course.

Dawn Porter is performing stand up as part of The Last Laugh Session at the MediaGuardian Edinburgh International Television Festival. For tickets and further information please go to