Stewart’s ready to deliver in Falkirk

Stewart Francis. Funny in Falkirk.
Stewart Francis. Funny in Falkirk.

Stewart Francis is used to delivering a sack-load of gags whenever he performs.

The Canadian is the second name to be added to the line-up for this year’s Funny in Falkirk festival.

He’ll be performing at the FTH on Sunday, July 31.

They say timing is everything in comedy – and Stewart knows this more than most due to his spell as a post office worker.

Instead of letters, he now delivers razor-sharp one-liners on popular TV shows such as ‘Mock the Week’ and ‘Live at the Apollo’.

His fame in the UK has grown rapidly in recent years, with his deadpan delivery and inventive joke-telling setting him apart from other comedians.

But success came relatively late for the 52-year-old.

Stewart said: “I only turned professional at the age of 30. I had become used to being the ‘funny fella’ around my work, but I wanted to see if I could make the leap from making my colleagues laugh to earning some money from telling jokes.

“I also wanted to ensure that I never had to work in the post office again.”

Born in Toronto to a Scottish mother and English father, Stewart has never had any trouble in adapting his comedy for both UK and North American audiences.

“I guess I had the best of both worlds” he said. “I used to love American shows like Saturday Night Live - my hero was Johnny Carson - but then I also used to watch all the classic Brit comedies as well.”

Stewart has lived in London for the past four years, but is currently looking to move to East Lothian, where his mother’s family are originally from.

“My Dad’s from Manchester - but we don’t talk about that,” jokes Stewart. “I miss Canada sometimes, but I get my creature comforts from watching ice-hockey. Toronto Maple Leafs are my squadron. They’ve not enjoyed any real success since about 1967, but there’s always next season. I guess Falkirk fans can relate to that.”

Stewart’s gig at the FTH is something of an exclusive for Funny in Falkirk - it’s likely to be his only major UK show of the year.

He added: “I was on tour for most of last year - my DVD Tour de Francis is still available from all good retailers by the way - so I’m taking most of this year off to concentrate on writing a new show, some of which I’ll be debuting in Falkirk.”

Funny in Falkirk is organised by the Scottish Comedy Agency in association with the Falkirk BID and Falkirk Council.

BID chairwoman Corrie Cuthbertson said: “Funny in Falkirk is a terrific event and provides a real boost for the night-time economy of the town.”