It took ten years and countless gags but Chris Ramsey has finally made the two minute journey from the small stage of the Dog and Parrot pub where he made his comedy debut to his biggest gig to date round the corner at Newcastle Arena.
Chris is the first North East comedian to top the bill at the arena and a crowd of 6,000 were eager to see the Sanddancer get the laughs on home turf.
The gig was made all the more special by the fact this was the final night of his Is That... Chris Ramsey tour.
“Anyone else from around the country, I hope you’ve bought subtitles. I’m doing Geordie tonight, this is for us,” he said as he bounded on to the stage with his infectious grin following an impressive warm up from fellow Geordie Carl Hutchinson.
“I’m a comedian and all I want is for people to listen to my stories, I started round the corner and it’s mint you’re all here,” the headliner told the crowd.
And what a story-teller he is. Chris’ humour is anecdotal as he draws upon the trials and tribulations of being a parent, shopping in Asda, watching telly and his fears, for the butt of his jokes.
He’s a natural storyteller, one you can’t help but warm to as he gently guides you through his life stories.
It’s a skill that makes you feel like you’re sitting opposite him in the pub rather than in the cavernous arena as he regales you with tales, such as the man who took a tape measure to Asda in Shields to complain about his 10inch pizza falling short at 9.5inches.
It’s highly-relatable stuff as he tells of the joys of parenting and his son Robin being given Sunday dinner by his grandparents at 2am like he’s Henry the VIII.
But it isn’t all dad chat, he also draws upon the quirks of his fears, such as staying in hotel rooms, not ideal when you’re a touring comedian, anecdotes which are woven together with a great pace and laddish charm.
But what better material for his act than when police burst into said hotel room in a case of mistaken identity.
He thought he was being pranked by Ant and Dec when the fuzz burst into his room at London’s St Pancras Hotel and led him down the corridor in his pants after staff mistakenly identified him as man who’d threatened them with a knife.
“What kind of knife man threatens staff and then checks in 12 hours later?,” he said incredulously. There’s no logic to it, but it’s hilarious to hear.
The star has risen to fame thanks to his TV appearances on shows such as Hebburn, Virtually Famous and the I’m A Celebrity spin-off but it’s refreshing to see him clearly revelling in his stand up roots. Welcome home, Chris.