Ellen Degeneres ''didn't think'' she'd ever do stand-up comedy again.

The 60-year-old comedian performed stand-up gigs for 20 years before she gave it up in favour of her eponymously titled talk show - which has been running since 2003 - and although she's set to make her return to the stage for the first time in 15 years with new special 'Relatable', she admits she very nearly stepped away from the microphone for good.

She said: ''I didn't think I'd ever do it again. I did it for so long, I did it for probably 20 years and it's a lonely life - especially as a woman by yourself on the road.

''['The Ellen Degeneres Show'] is a great gig. I get to go home every night, and this is fun. But stand-up is different than this. I just wanted to see if I could do it again after 15 years.''

And although her talk show is a far cry from her stand-up routine, Ellen insists that working on the show ''every day'' taught her to not be so hard on herself when things don't go exactly as planned.

She added during an interview on the 'Today' show which aired on Tuesday (18.12.18): ''These people wait for a long, long time to come here and I want them to have the best show they can possibly have.

''When I started out in stand-up, every single night you want it to be amazing and perfect all the time. But to do a show every single day, sometimes you just have to - if it's a bad show and something happens where you mess up - there's another one the next day. I tried to make every single show my favourite show.''

Ellen's return to stand-up comes as her wife Portia De Rossi recently revealed she wants her spouse to quit her talk show, even though she's just extended her contract up to the summer of 2020.

Portia said: ''I just think she's such a brilliant actress and stand-up that it doesn't have to be this talk show for her creativity.

''There are other things she could tackle.

''I don't see the end of her show as her career ending.''