Comedian Denise Scott.
Comedian Denise Scott. JAMES PENLIDIS PHOTOGRAPHY

Her dancing days are over but Denise still up for a laugh

COMEDIAN Denise Scott is set to swap Dancing With The Stars for Breakfast in Byron as she heads to the shire for this year's Comedy Festival.

Denise will host the comedy breakfast as part of this year's festival, to be held from May 17-19.

Declaring that she has "hung up" her dancing shoes, the grand dame of Australian comedy will instead hold court on the Sunday morning, bringing her own brand of humour to brekkie and bubbly.

"My dancing days are done," she declared from Sydney - her temporary base during Studio 10 filming weeks.

She quickly became a fan favourite thanks to her irreverent humour and was asked to come back and co-host when Grant Denyer injured his back (making Denise and Amanda Keller probably the first women over 55 to co-host a show together).

"It was fun, though I can't speak for everyone else, but I physically found it very hard, a tremendous challenge but it was nice to know that someone as fit as Michelle (Bridges) found it a challenge too," she laughed.

For Denise, who struggles with arthritis, it was a particularly difficult challenge, though she said the movement certainly helped ease her symptoms. After all that exercise and excitement, Denise is counting down to her trip up here to the Byron Comedy Festival.

"I'm really looking forward to it," she said.

"John (her partner) and I are going to have a little holiday after the gig.

"I will be between my commitments to Studio 10 - I film every second week and this is the week between."

It is a rare week off for the busy comedian and an even rarer stand-up gig for the in-demand 64-year-old. After a long career, Denise seems to be the go-to woman of the hour. She has the gig on the Studio 10 morning show, has just finished her Dancing With The Stars stint, and is a regular on comedy show Have You Been Paying Attention. She also hopes to have time to work on a writing project (that she can't talk about yet) later in the year.

The upswing in her career has caught Denise by surprise and it's a product, she believes, of her longevity in show business, outlasting other comedians and actresses to be the last one standing when people need someone of a certain age. She laughs when it's suggested talent may have also played a part.

"It's an interesting thing - looking around my friends who were in comedy and have now forged other career paths, some by choice and some by necessity," Denise said.

However, for Denise, apparently having no other skill "other than knitting" and not doing that particularly quickly, it seems the entertainment industry will be where she stays.

"I'm amazed as well (that the jobs keep coming). I keep assuming that is going to be it but new work keeps happening."

She said the more her face wrinkled, the more the work came.

"It doesn't make sense," she deadpans.

So with such a long career in comedy, does she have any advice? Denise pearls of wisdom?

"Not that anyone asks my advice, but for young comedians - especially young women - it's 'hang in there'," she laughs.

The Byron festival will feature 12 shows over three days including stand-up comedy, comedy debate, best of British, funny kids, laughter yoga and more.

The newly renovated Byron Surf Club is home to the 2019 Byron Comedy Festival, May 17-19.

The program is full of internationally accomplished comics the likes of Glenn Robbins and Peter Rowsthorn (Kath & Kim) ... the list goes on.

Byron Shire based comic Mandy Nolan will MC the Comedy Debate as well as performing in the late-night burlesque extravaganza, and the wonderful Joel Salom delivers his family show.

Info: byroncomedyfest.

com