INTERVIEW: North Sea export Daniel strikes comedy gold ...

Daniel Simonsen
Daniel Simonsen
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Comedian Daniel Simonsen knows first hand that a good joke is funny in any language and that humour transcends national boundaries.

The 29-year-old was born and brought up in Norway and made the journey across the North Sea to set up home in London in 2007, motivated by a determination to pursue a career as a professional stand-up.

“There’s only one dedicated comedy club in the whole of Norway. It’s a different way of working there, if you want to do regular shows,” he said.

“Comedy is definitely growing in popularity in Norway, but it’s nowhere near as big as it is in the UK.”

That London move paid dividends last year when he was named Best Newcomer at the 2012 Edinburgh Fringe, a title previously won by the likes of Harry Hill and Sarah Millican.

It was an award that surprised Simsonsen.

“I felt very negative about my Edinburgh run last year, I didn’t think the show had been a real success,” he said.

“When the shortlist was announced, it was a real shock. But then I thought I had no chance of winning, so I got over it. I could not believe it when they read my name out.”

Simonsen will perform his new show, ‘Strangers’, at the Terrace Bar in Falkirk’s City nightclub on July 30 as part of the fourth annual Funny in Falkirk comedy festival.

It will be his first visit to the town, and a trip he’s looking forward to.

“Scottish crowds really are the best. The reception I got in Glasgow when I played there earlier this year was fantastic. The Stand is the best comedy club I’ve ever seen. I’m hoping for the same kind of reaction in Falkirk.”

Although Simonsen describes his new show as “a work in progress”, it is likely to contain the same kind of observational humour – much of it at his own expense – that won him rave reviews from critics last year.

“I only did around 10 gigs in Norway before I moved to London,” Simonsen explained.

“When I got there it was like losing a leg. I realised that many of the stories that I had told on stage, about friends and family back home, lost a lot of their impact when I told them in English.

“It was then my routine became a lot more observational – it seems to have worked well.

“Performing in English isn’t a problem, nearly everyone in Norway speaks it – well, except for my mum.”

See Daniel Simonsen at City Nightclub, Falkirk, on Tuesday, July 30