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Interview: Dave Spikey
Bolton’s Dave Spikey is coming to his home town and Blackpool with his latest stand-up tour, and he's out to prove that laughter is still the best medicine.
IF YOU see Dave Spikey out and about on the streets, be careful to lower your voice — if not you might just end up the subject of one of his stand-up routines.
“I love earwigging,” said Dave.
“My wife calls me Mr Nosey.
“She says I have a radar for bizarre conversations, and she's right.
“Some of my favourite things are things I've over-heard.
“The other day I was in the bar of the Hilton Hotel in Manchester and two girls were talking really loudly at the bar. One said, ‘'Our Doreen's had a baby boy’ and the other one said ‘What’s it called.’ She said ‘Marc, with a C.’ ‘What?’ the other one said, ‘Cark?’”
"You can't make stuff like that up."
So don't be surprised if there's plenty of gags based around his ear-wigging when Dave Spikey brings his latest stand-up tour to Bolton Albert Halls next week.
The Best Medicine Tour — Repeat Prescription is the same tour he travelled around the UK with last year, back by popular demand.
“I'm milking the medical terminology aren't I?" joked Dave. “The next one will be called ‘Take three times a day!’ “But I named this tour Repeat Prescription because essentially it's very similar to the tour I did last year.
“It went brilliantly, but I wasn't really planning on doing any more shows. I'd done a DVD and 40-odd dates, but we got so much response — 60 theatres asked if we could bring it to them this year — that I've lined up another 30 gigs in spring and 30 in autumn.
“Every show I do changes throughout the tour because I'm always extending bits and adding new stories. Before I know it I've got an extra 15 minutes of material so I have to go back through it and take out 15 minutes of other stuff to keep it at two hours.
“I'd say the show now is at least 30 per cent different to last year, but what I don't want is for people to come to see it and say ‘I've seen him do that before. That's why I’ve given it the name and that's why I’m going to all new venues this time around.”
Dave’s first two tours and DVDs were based on material he had honed on the North West comedy circuit over the last decade, but with this show he had to start from scratch.
“It took me two years before I was satisfied with it,” he said.
“I refuse to pad a show out. You've got to be getting laughs every 20 seconds and that takes a lot of work honing it down and fine-tuning.
“Writing a show is all about having to get over the mental block, but you can over-analyse things. Generally, if you find something funny it is funny.”
Dave is enjoying life on the road after quitting TV panel show 8 Out of 10 Cats after series four.
“It was a conscious decision that to leave behind,” said Dave.
“It got to the stage where it just took it out over my life and I stopped enjoying it. I’m not really a fan of competitive comedy and all week I’d be focusing on that one show, keeping on top of the news. As team captain there was the pressure to be the funniest, so you're competing against your own team members as well as the other side.”
But there are elements of the show that he misses.
“Jimmy Carr is just a delight to work with — very considerate,” he said.
“And I had Joan Rivers, a comedy hero of mine, on my team.
“But eventually I was missing stand-up too much. I thought ‘Let's get back on the road and do what I'm best at’.”
And luckily for us that's just what he did.
l See Dave Spikey's The Best Medicine Tour — Repeat Prescription at Bolton Albert Halls on Wednesday, March 25 and Thursday, March 26 (box office 01204 334400) and at Blackpool Opera House on Saturday, May 30 (box office 0844 856 1111).