Angela Barnes loves being a self-deprecating comedian but don’t call her comedy self-loathing.

The British comic was given the label by a reviewer who saw her show at the Edinburgh Fringe last year.

However, Barnes says it's not something she associates with her style of comedy.

She said: "After last year's show a lot of reviewers referred to me as a self-deprecating comedian, which I am and I think is a good thing to be. Self deprecation is a uniquely human thing that's quite nice to be but one reviewer called me self loathing and I thought I'm not that, that's a different thing entirely."

Barnes has now returned to the festival with Come As You Are, a show that aims to help people embrace their flaws.

She said: "My show this year is probably the most personal show I've done. I wanted to do a show about how it's fine to acknowledge your flaws.

"I'm 38 and at this age you stop caring what other people think and you go this is who I am, like it or lump it, and I'll tell you all the stuff that makes you glad you're not me. I like people to come to my shows and feel good about themselves because they're not me."

The comedian, who first performed at the Fringe as a student actor in 1995, loves the festival and can't wait to return to the Scottish capital.

She said: "There's nowhere else to be in August and the years I haven't been I've just sat at home realising I'm missing out.

"Ask me again during it and I'll be crying and wanting to come home. You get to that stage in the Fringe where you say I can't do it any more but we still do so either it's self-harm or there must be something that keeps bringing us back."

Barnes' new show has been influenced in part by an article she wrote for the Guardian in 2013 about uglyism and how beauty is perceived in society.

The comic says she is not convinced that the perceptions have changed since she wrote the article and believes the rise of Twitter has made it even easier to discriminate against people.

She said: "I don't know if I can say things are changing because the problem is Twitter. I wouldn't want to be a teenage girl today for all the tea in China because you're so exposed, not just to the people in your class and your immediate surroundings but to the whole world and it's so damaging.

"We're bombarded with these images constantly of perfection and we're told that anything less than beautiful is ugly.

"I think what's happened is the people who used to write on toilet walls now write on Twitter. It used to be just the people that used the same toilet cubicle as you would see your inane thoughts about people you knew but now the whole world can see them. It's given a voice to the passive aggressive really.

"I think people are starting to realise these are people and to think maybe I shouldn't sit at a screen and slag off people I've never met but it's going to take a while."

Despite her love of comedy, Barnes came to stand-up relatively late.

The comic, who performed her first stand-up show at the age of 33, originally worked in health and social care and only decided to follow her comedy dream after her Dad died.

She said: "My Dad died really suddenly in 2008 and after that I thought life's too short.

"I'd always wanted to do it but I thought comedy was for other people then I realised that comedy's like finding the gang that you belong to."

Another huge influence on Barnes was fellow Kent comic Linda Smith, who passed away from cancer in 2006.

She said: "I grew up listening to Radio 4 comedy with my Dad but it was always very public school voices. Suddenly Linda came along and she was a woman with my accent and my frame of reference. She was talking about things I could relate to and she was so approachable but she took no nonsense and she was so political in her comedy, she was just brilliant.

"She paved the way not just for women in comedy but for people from a certain background to go, you don't have to be posh, public school or any of those things to do radio comedy."

Barnes, who won the BBC New Comedy Award in 2011, believes that the new generation of comedians are helping to change views and challenge the view that 'women are not funny'.

She said: "I think that whole stereotype of women aren't funny or women can only do certain types of comedy is rubbish and people are starting to realise that. People are realising that female comic is not a genre of comedy, it's as silly as saying I don't like comedians with blue eyes.

"We all do different types of comedy and if you don't like my comedy that's fine but it's not because I'm a woman, it's because you don't like my style.

"You've got people with such different voices coming through now like Bridget Christie, Katherine Ryan, strong individuals that are so different from each other that people are going they're not the same, brilliant. It is changing."

The comic has gained a huge following for her very personal style of comedy and believes that creating a connection with her audience is essential in her shows.

She said: "I just think life's ridiculous, we all do ridiculous things and if you can harness that and embrace it and have an audience laugh with you about stupid things in your own life they will connect with that.

"Coming into comedy a bit later means I've had a life of working in an office or the ward so I've got things people can relate to and that's really important.

"I just want people to feel better about themselves when they see me. The last thing people want to hear when they go to a comedy show is what a brilliant life that person's having. You don't want to go to a comedy show and come away feeling that your life's rubbish, you want to say my life's alright because it's not like hers. That's my job really, to make people feel better about their lives."

Angela Barnes will perform at Pleasance Courtyard until August 30.