Review: Chris Ramsey @ The Newcastle City Hall
Comics from the North-East have not been a rarity in recent years. Take Ross Noble or Sarah Millican for example; Noble had been hitting the stand-up scene for a good decade before making it to the “mainstream”, Whereas Millican took to the stage later in life and has enjoyed a successful career.
South Shields’ Chris Ramsey on the other hand, had been under the radar for some time until he took up residency on ITV’s Celebrity Juice. Since then he has appeared on panel shows like Mock the Week, his own BBC sitcom Hebburn and, of course, Soccer AM. To some Ramsey isn’t just a comedian, he is THAT comedian.
This is Ramsey’s “homecoming” gig at Newcastle City Hall, which tonight is packed with fans who finally understand him. Not in an emotional way or anything, he even states Newcastle is the only place he can do his full routine in his native accent. His support is from fellow Tynesider, Carl Hutchinson, who sets the tone with his anecdotes of restaurant bookings, train journeys and family gatherings. Hutchinson delivers great laughs but not enough to overshadow tonight’s headline act.
This show is called The Most Dangerous Man On Saturday Morning Television, but Ramsey reminds us he isn’t so dangerous with his stories of working at a sports chain on the high street in his teenage years, using physical punch-lines similar to Lee Evans. Ramsey uses a lot of local references to keep him grounded with his home crowd, such as naming Metro stations and parts of the North East these incidents took place. His opening dialogue takes a change in tone when he mispronounces “fist-bump” which becomes the foundation for his slightly risque stories to come.
The tour is named after an incident on live TV, which Chris repeatedly gets recognised for over his stand up and other appearances. This was his second appearance on Soccer AM, and was asked how he deals with heckles over twitter. His answer wasn’t broadcast friendly, let’s say. Ramsey launches in to how he dealt with the situation and how stupid he felt, in a Russell Brand–esque way.
Making Chris Ramsey THAT comedian, the Geordie who used a rude word live on Soccer AM. This leads into more belly-laugh inducing tales of other embarrassing situations, proving he isn’t a dangerous man, never mind the most dangerous man on Saturday morning TV.
Ramsey receives a well deserved standing ovation, begging the question: could he could fill an arena like his contemporaries Russell Howard or John Bishop? Ramsey has proven his humour can translate across the country, and has bided his time in the stand-up circuit for the past few years.
Embarrassing Saturday morning incidents aside, Ramsey definitely has a long career ahead of him. Even if a third series of Hebburn doesn’t make it to our screens, Chris Ramsey has already made a name for himself and we could see him return to the North East soon.