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Hooper and babe back in WA
Claire Hooper. Picture: James Demitri

Maternity leave admittedly hasn't gone quite to plan for Perth-raised comedian Claire Hooper..

When she welcomed her first baby, a daughter named Penelope, with husband Wade in February, the former Good News Week personality had no strict arrangement for how she would tackle her new life as a parent and was happy to take some time out from the stand-up circuit to find her feet.

But being blessed with a "reasonably easy" tot, Hooper told Access All Areas she soon found herself eager to return to the stage and, just two weeks after giving birth, was already mapping out a week-long tour that would see her travel from her base in Melbourne back to WA.

"I am still mentally on maternity leave but then I am coming to Perth for six shows, so I guess it's a pretty busy maternity leave," the 37-year-old said before arriving home at the weekend.

"But it's a funny thing - I don't do this for a job, I am just lucky enough to get paid for the thing I would be doing anyway.

"I am going to try not to book too much in but too many fun things keep coming up. You find yourself saying yes to a lot, and, lo and behold, you are not really on maternity leave anymore."

The trip to Perth will coincide with Penelope's three-month birthday and Hooper admitted it was more of an excuse to show off the bub to friends and family rather than a strict work engagement.

But the comic, who is known for appearing on Rove Live and Spicks and Specks, warned fans not to expect her routine to become all about her adventures as a mother.

"When I first got pregnant the first thing people said was 'Here comes an hour of comedy about babies'," Hooper said.

"But I was like 'I would like to think I have more interesting things to talk about than babies'. And then you have a baby and you think 'Oh God, there's nothing else to talk about'.

"But I have made a promise to myself that I don't want to be that comic that only talks about the baby. If I go and talk about breast pads and bath time I think people are going to switch right off."

That's not to say Hooper doesn't have a funny story or two to tell about her newborn.

The smitten parent jokingly refers to Penelope as "Fat Tony" but is already trying to break the habit before the name sticks for good.

"It's actually already caught on among a few of our friends, so even if we stop now they will always call her Fat Tony to her face," she giggled.

Claire Hooper is appearing at Rooftop Bar on May 6, the National Hotel on May 7, the Comedy Lounge at the Charles Hotel on May 8, Downstairs at the Maj on May 9 and Little Creatures on May 10.

The West Australian

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