“Bring back that trophy” says funnyman Chris Ramsey as he sends a good luck message to South Shields FC.
The South Shields-born comedian is back on home turf to talk about his biggest show to date, performing to up to 10,000 people at Newcastle Arena.
He took a short break from his busy touring schedule to make the trip back to the North East and he says the excitement in his home town for The Mariners’ forthcoming trip to Wembley is palpable.
In a video message recorded for the Gazette, he said: “Just wanted to say a massive good luck to all the fans and especially the team, The Mariners, going down to Wembley for the final of the FA Vase. You’re doing everyone proud, smash it, bring back that trophy.”
Whilst checking out the arena ahead of his tour date there on May 6, Chris said although he isn’t a huge football fan, he thinks the team’s clash against Cleethorpes Town on May 21 is a great thing for the area.
He said: “I’m more a Mariners fan than any other North East team and I follow them on Twitter. I’m not a huge footy fan in general, but I think them going to Wembley is amazing for Shields. As a town centre, the town has seen better days, though we still have The Nook, but I think as a town it really deserves something like this for the community, it’s got everyone buzzing. My dad’s going down to Wembley and I know loads of other people who are too.”
The comedian from Marsden, known for his performances in Hebburn, The Royal Variety Performance, Celebrity Juice and Live At The Apollo, as well as his own Chris Ramsey show, has his own nervous excitement about the Newcastle Arena date which will cap off his 45-date Is That...Chris Ramsey tour.
“It’s crazy playing the arena, but as a comic I like playing to a bigger crowd,” he explained. “I think it’s because if you have a crowd of 10,000 people and you make half of them laugh, that’s 5,000 people laughing. But if you have a crowd of 30 people and you make only half of them laugh that’s only 15 people.
“It’s really exciting, but also really scary. When we started talking about this date it was a choice between doing some city halls at the end of the tour or the arena.
“As a comic, I never set out to tour arenas, but once someone had planted the seed there, that was it, I wanted to do it.
“The best analogy I can think of is someone daring you to jump in a stream and you doing it to see if you can. I think we can fill the arena though, there’s so much support up here.
“People from the North East even come to other places on the tour and when you ask them why they say it’s a night away. It’s great to be someone’s social activity.”
Chris, who will be the first North East comic to headline the venue, says audiences can expect stories about his life, including tales about becoming a dad to his 17-month-old son and the night he was wrongly arrested in a hotel room in his pants.
“This has been my favourite tour so far and I always end my tours in Newcastle,” he said. “Tour management have tried to do Newcastle dates half way through before and I’ve always said it has to be at the end. It means my wife can come and see it and my friends, and we can have a night out afterwards. It’s a real celebration.”
•Chris Ramsey is at Newcastle Arena on Saturday, May 6. Tickets from 0844 493 6666 or http://www.chrisramseycomedy.com/gigs