South Shields star of BBC2’s sitcom Hebburn, Chris Ramsey, talks to Marie Westmoreland about playing in the region, the show and his new found fame.
SOUTH Shields comedian Chris Ramsey played his biggest headline show recently.
Playing to over 1,000 people the comic who stars in the new Jason Cook sitcom – Hebburn, as the lead role of Jack Pearson - said he feels like a “lucky” guy.
He’s a regular guest on primetime TV shows including ITV’s Celebrity Juice, “best mates” with Ed Sheeran and is currently on his first headline tour.
The demand to see his Edinburgh Festival sell-out show Feeling Lucky was so high that Middlesbrough Town Hall had to super-size their capacity to accommodate.
Speaking on the phone, the quick-witted lad was entertaining from the off and delighted about people’s interest in him.
He said: “The demand for tickets at Middlesbrough Town Hall was so high that it sold out the crypt, so they moved me into the big room,” which was packed to the rafters on Saturday with fans who were entertained with hilarious tales of Ramsey’s life.
Over the past four years Ramsey has played many storming gigs in the region.
He said: “I started doing my first comedy gigs in Teesside, so it’s a place I hold close to my heart.
“I’m so proud that people paid to just come and see me.”
Support came from fellow North East comedian Carl Hutchinson who is on board the Feeling Lucky tour until the spring.
Ramsey loves being back home and he played Dusk night club earlier this month in his home town.
Talking about gigs he’s played at The Customs House in his home town, he said:“ Playing there was amazing, it was the second time I’ve played there and I loved it.”
“It was incredible and frightening how many people in the crowd I actually knew though,” he said laughing.
Ramsey has also stepped into an acting role for the first time, alongside Vic Reeves, Gina McKee, Kimberley Nixon and Jason Cook in Hebburn, which has enjoyed rave reviews and clocked up more than 1.5 million viewers.
He said: “Filming it was such a laugh and it was my first acting thing, so I was so lucky that I was with such an understanding cast and crew.
“It was just like being at a youth club and so much fun.”
Viewers have been tweeting positive things about the show, he said: “So many people have tweeted us saying ‘it’s spot on’ and ‘that’s just like my family’.”
And for those who believe it shows Hebburn in a bad light, Ramsey said: “Have they not seen Geordie Shore?
“The only negative part shown about Hebburn really is that Jack didn’t want to go back home from Manchester in the first episode, but if you keep watching it, he falls in love with Hebburn all over again and the viewers are doing the same.”
Following his acting debut Ramsey is getting recognised more especially when he is back up North.
He said: “I get recognised quite a lot now, it’s really bizarre. I was at the Ed Sheeran gig at Newcastle City Hall, two weeks ago.
“It was the interval and everyone sitting in their seats saw me and went mental.
“Everyone was like ‘aaah Chris, Chris’, they were taking photos and everything.
“I just went bright red and giggled, I was just walking along waving, smiling and sweating – I was pathetic.
“I didn’t look cool at all, people probably thought ‘what’s his problem?’.”
All this fame doesn’t seem to be going to his head as Ramsey plans to spend Christmas back home with his mam and dad in South Shields.
He said: “We stay in the house on Christmas day and me mam cooks dinner.
“Then we pop to the pub and normally have a bit of a nap in the afternoon.
“On the night I go out to the local pub with my mates and cause havoc.”
Series one of Hebburn concluded this week and Ramsey said: “We’re going to find out about series two very soon, I just hope we can do it all again.”
* Chris Ramsey’s Feeling Lucky tour will return to the region next year for two dates which include: May 12, at Durham Gala Theatre and June 8, at Theatre Royal, in Newcastle. For more information visit www.chrisramseycomedy.com