Alumna steps into the comedy arena 

Chris Sexton

In a daring leap outside her comfort zone, Chris Sexton, alumna and director of our computing service CiCS, will be performing a comedy routine at Sheffield City Hall to raise money for charity.

Chris has been part of the University for over 40 years both as a student (she graduated with a BSc in Genetics in 1977 followed by a PhD in the same subject in 1983) and member of staff. After completing her studies Chris got a job in central admin looking after committees, gradually moving around, working in information management and student affairs until she became Head of Administration in the Faculty of Medicine in 1989. She stayed there until 1996 when CiCS (the University computing service) was established.

She will represent us at Funny Business on Thursday 20 October. The show invites successful business people from across Sheffield to collect sponsorship and compete to perform the funniest set. All proceeds raised go to Weston Park Hospital Cancer Charity, a vital source of support for cancer research as well as patients in the local area.

Chris explains how she got involved in the first place:

“I was actually nearly mown down by a PVC on a bike one morning on my way to work. Tony Ryan had originally been asked to do it, but realised he would be out of the country and thought I'd be a good replacement; not sure why. It only took me about three seconds to think about it before I said yes.

“Everybody seems to think I'm really brave. And ever so slightly mad. But I'd rather do this than run a marathon or jump out of an aeroplane!

Speaking about the cause she is raising money for Chris said:

“Cancer touches almost everyone,” says Chris. “If we haven't had it ourselves, we all have a family member or friends who have, and it affects so many people. Our researchers are some of the best in the world, and I really want to help them in finding better treatments for this awful disease, as well as providing better care for people who have it.”

Chris is a fan of observational comedians, those that tell stories based on real life. She has written all the material herself, working with professional comedian Alfie Moore for support. While she was remaining tight lipped about her set she did give a hint about her routine:

“All I can tell you is that it's a story about a dark and stormy January night in Doncaster,”

As Chris prepares to retire at the end of this year this will be one of her last acts as a member of staff.

“Funny Business is probably the last thing I'm going to do for the University after being part of it for 42 years, so it will be great to go out with a bang. The biggest thing I'll miss is the people, I've made some great friends working here. But I only live two minutes away so intend to keep frequenting Coffee Revolution to keep up with University gossip.”

Chris is up against some big names in business, so it would be great to have some friendly faces from our University to support her at the show. You can buy tickets via the Funny Business website.

To help Chris reach her sponsorship target for the Weston Park Hospital Cancer Charity, visit her JustGiving page.

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