Stand up for a Royle show

Steve Royle, when he starred in Sleeping Beauty at Blackpool Grand
Steve Royle, when he starred in Sleeping Beauty at Blackpool Grand
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COMEDIAN Steve Royle never really set out to go into stand-up.

The dad-of-three started as an actor.

But he has supported both Peter Kay and Dave Spikey on tour, has made numerous TV appearances – including Phoenix Nights, Max and Paddy and Stand-Up Britain. Fylde coast residents will know him from BBC Radio Lancashire and countless stage and panto performances, including at Blackpool’s Grand Theatre and North Pier.

And his comedy show Slaughterhouse Live, which this year he will be taking to Edinburgh.

Next Tuesday, he will be looking for comedy talent from Blackpool, Fylde and Wyre, all in aid of Comic Relief.

Steve and his BBC Radio Lancashire colleague Ted Robbins will be topping the bill at Stand Up If You Dare, at Viva Cabaret Bar in Blackpool, in aid of Comic Relief.

The special one-off will feature local would-be comedians, who think they have what it takes to make people laugh.

Steve said: “Stand-up is so popular at the moment, everybody wants to do it and so many think they will have a go at it. But when they try, they realise it’s not easy.

“We’ve got a good range of people in this show – young and old.

“They are of a really good standard and different types of performers, some more traditional gag tellers and some modern. We told most of them to trim their material and pick one or two best bits.

“The best way to get material is to take a funny story, something which happened, tell it to people and see what reaction you get. If they laugh, then you take it, embellish it and use it when you perform.

“It’s exciting for me because I have performed in nearly every Blackpool venue, but this is the first time at Viva.

“I think it will be a great fun night, loads of laughs and it’s in aid of a really good cause.

“People will get chance to see Radio Lancashire presenters in the flesh. People are often surprised when they see you for the first time.

“They say things to me like ‘ooh, you’re thinner than I expected’. I must have a fat voice!”

Of all his shows over the year, Steve’s favourites are his annual panto appearances.

After 12 years as Mad Edgar the court jester at Camelot theme park – presenting more than 2000 shows – he is used to playing the fool.

“Panto is my favourite. Doing comedy can be lonely, you do your show and it might go really well, then you just get in the car to drive home on your own. But there is a lovely camaraderie about panto.

“It suits me, I am a family comic. I’m not blue, I’m not edgy, so the panto with its family fun, suits me.”

Steve started acting age 14 at Oldham Theatre Workshop, but became hooked on juggling.

“I used to juggle and do a bit of verbal comedy stuff to supplement my acting CV, then I was on a programme called Give Your Mate a Break with Les Dennis, I started doing gigs at comedy clubs and eventually the juggling became less and the verbal became more.

“After working at medieval banquets, heckles were better than having food thrown at me!”

Steve will also be back in Blackpool at North Pier for another charity event, the Blackpool Variety Night, on March 27.

He does a lot of events for charity and each year visits Brian House Children’s Hospice in Bispham with the rest of the panto cast.

He said: “I always feel when I visit Brian House it just puts life in perspective.

“The cast are always moved by our visits there. Whatever we might moan about, just seems like nothing. I’d do anything I could to help Brian House.”

And Steve is dad himself to three daughters.

He said: “That keeps me busier than anything to be honest. And they’re getting to an age where they don’t laugh at my jokes now.”

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