HOLLY Walsh is a comedian who certainly has suffered for her art.

She has a small piece of metal in her arm, a result of breaking it after jumping off Worthing Pier for a new show she’s doing for CBBC.

“It’s called All Over the Place,” Holly explains, “I’m just one of a number of comedians taking part in the show.

“The idea is we go all over the country reporting on these crazy, odd and bizarre events.”

Holly took part in the annual Worthing Birdman event, where people jump off the seaside town’s pier in varying, ridiculous flying contraptions.

“It was last August and it was the most exciting thing I have ever done,” she says.

“It’s just that afterwards I ended up in Worthing Hospital for four days and with a bit of metal in my arm.”

The bionic stand-up is the big name launching Essex University’s new season of comedy nights tomorrow.

A Cambridge graduate, she started writing comedy when working in art galleries in the East End of London.

“Art was always what I thought I would do,” she explains. “I did a little bit of comedy at university, but it wasn’t until I moved to London that I started to get really into it.”

Quitting her job in 2006, she started writing full-time. First for the likes of Jo Caulfield on Radio 4 and then, among others, Mitchell and Webb and the Charlotte Church Show.

She says: “I’m a huge fan of quite a few comedians currently on the circuit. There have been a number of real starstruck moments.”

For Holly, Frank Skinner readily springs to mind, although that may have something to do with the fact it was Frank who gave Holly her big break, asking her to appear in a pilot show. “He’s a very cool guy,” she says, “and he helped me out a lot.”

Of course, you need a bit of talent as well and Holly has bags of it.

In 2006, she was runner-up at the Amused Moose Laugh-off at the Edinburgh Fringe and two years later won the Chortle award for best newcomer.

Labelled a “comedy young upstart” with the likes of Jack Whitehall, Holly, 30, became the darling of producers across the BBC channels and Channel 4.

Along with Jack, Holly fronted the TNT Show for Channel 4, a satirical swipe at the week’s news, and she has also been a familiar face on such shows as Mock the Week, Never Mind the Buzzcocks and 8 out of 10 Cats.

She says: “It’s funny being called a comedy young upstart, especially when you’ve done so many long car journeys for gigs all over the country.

“I certainly wouldn’t say I’ve paid my dues, but I’m getting there.

“I’ve really enjoyed doing the television work. The TNT Show was great and Jack was brilliant. He’s so funny. The panel shows are also a lot of fun. You don’t really get a lot of information on what’s going to happen, so it’s an excellent experience for thinking on your feet.”

l Holly Walsh will be headlining Off the Kerb’s Comedy Central Live tomorrow from 8.30pm, with support from Andrew O’Neil and Tom Allen. Tickets are £8, £5 for concessions, and £4 for Essex University students, available from the box office on 01206 873288.