YOU can count the number of new comedy names in Blackpool’s summer season line-up on the fingers of one punch line – but Billy Hunter reckons that is something which can work in his favour.
He’s actually no newcomer to showbusiness – having been a performer in one shape or another for around 18 years.
But his slot on Mick Miller’s Comedy Bonanza Show at The Grand theatre, which starts a midweek run tomorrow, is the first time he has secured a Blackpool summer season.
He started his stage career like so many other performers – as a Butlins Red Coat.
“It was more by accident than design,” Billy (pictured) admits. “I never actually set out to be an entertainer but since becoming one I’ve never wanted to be anything else. I can’t believe I’ve earned a living at it for 18 years.
“I’ve worked with Bob Monkhouse and done Water Rats shows but this is the big one for – a Blackpool summer season!”
Hailing from Leigh in Lancashire, his family is in the building trade and until Billy donned that famous Red jacket he’d been planning on continuing the tradition.
He was spotted by Mick Miller while working last year and invited to join the Wednesday show.
“I’m a visual comedian rather than relying on standard gags and one liners so our styles don’t clash at all,” says Billy. “It’s a real honour that someone like Mick Miller should have enough faith in me to put me in his show.”
As for his material he wants it speak for itself when he makes his debut tomorrow but says that people should expect the unexpected.
“At home I go to bed with a notebook and pen in case I get an idea during the night,” he says. “I’m always getting them so I need to write them down straight away. I think I see things differently to other people and that helps me with material.”