Sandi Toksvig stands-up for chalk streams with comedy gig in River Chess

Updated: 27 May 2021

Former ‘Bake Off’ front woman and QI host Sandi Toksvig headlined a stand-up comedy gig in the River Chess.

Former ‘Bake Off’ front woman and QI host Sandi Toksvig is claiming a ‘world first’ after headlining a stand-up comedy gig standing in the River Chess in the grounds of Chorleywood House.

Popular comedian, broadcaster, author and keen environmentalist, Sandi, recently performed the exclusive comedy gig to a live audience, standing in the river which rises near Chesham and flows all the way to Rickmansworth.

The gig, called ‘Stand-up for Our Streams’, was part of Affinity Water’s SOS: Save Our Streams campaign, which aims to address water-wastage and protect precious chalk streams.

Chalk streams which boast clear water from underground springs are more endangered than both the Bengal tiger and black rhino due to unsustainably high demand for water resulting in groundwater being taken.

The SOS: Save Our Streams campaign calls on everyone to take action to save chalk streams from the brink by saving 21 million litres per day, equivalent to less than ten litres per person, per day.

Cllr Phil Williams, Three Rivers District Council’s Lead Member for Environmental Services, Climate Change and Sustainability, who attended the gig, said: “It’s great that Affinity Water are doing something positive about reducing our water usage, especially the wastage aspect, and this was a great way to start their campaign.

“I think I speak for all our residents when I say how pleased I was to hear that Affinity are reducing their abstraction of water from the aquifers that feed the River Chess. The river is already reaping the benefits and is showing more water flow in its headwaters. We need to keep applying pressure on Thames Water to stop discharging sewage effluent into rivers.”

Footage of the gig can be viewed at

The public can also calculate their household water usage stats on the website by answering some short questions and find out if they are eligible for a free water-saving kit and tailored advice.

Photo by Sam Roberts