Turning 50 today (Thursday), Ardal O’Hanlon may be one of the most experienced stand-ups on the circuit.
Having toured for what the Irish comic said “felt like a lifetime”, he will be making his first ever appearance in Falkirk later this month.
Ardal is headlining Funny in Falkirk and he is excited to showcase his own style of comedy for a Bairns audience.
“Going to a place you have never been before means there is less pressure and less expectation,” he said.
“It is a good place for me to try out new material and, hopefully, give the crowd an enjoyable night.”
The actor, writer and comic is in between tours at present but still keeps himself busy with festivals and outdoor gigs.
“These days big music events in fields usually offer a comedy slot somewhere; it is fun to get out and do that.
“However, I love playing in clubs as well. I feel very privileged to play in theatres.”
Despite having gigged up and down the country, Ardal is still nervous before stepping out on stage.
“In the past I was terrible, my organs would basically shut down,” he said.
“I couldn’t eat and sweated like crazy.
“Now it’s not as bad, however, there are still some butterflies before I go out.”
Nerves are not the only problem Ardal has had to battle.
In his younger days he feels he spent too much time doing stand up, so much so that it became obsessive.
“I used to gig so much more than I do now and it became a slog.
“If you are not careful it can dominate your life.”
He now believes he has a good balance and has not limited himself to just stand up.
“I do it less but enjoy it more,” he explained.
“Now I do a variety of things; stage acting, writing and I am in discussion with the BBC about a new programme.
“You learn new techniques from stage acting, breathing is one of them.
“The amount of comics that don’t breathe on stage is incredible.”
Always eager to evolve his show to give people the best experience, Ardal frequently visits his local comedy club to try out his newest material.
“It’s strange sometimes going back to where I first started, but it helps with my act and I do enjoy the trip down memory lane.” he said.
After half a century on the planet Ardal said he no longer needs to act the class clown.
On stage he becomes the funny man from Ireland who has mistaken the size of cows or saved the planet in his red spandex.
However, if you meet him in the streets of Falkirk after the show, you’ll meet a very grounded and hard-working man.
Ardal said: “No-one wants to meet the real you on stage, so I spend a few moments before showtime gearing up.”
Ardal promises to bring with him his own unique observational views about daily life.
“We just had a referendum on gay marriage in Ireland, I may start on that,” he said.
He is quick to the punchline to ensure as many laughs as possible.
Ardal O’Hanlon will be live in Falkirk Town Hall on Thursday, October 22. Tickets are £15 and are available at www.funnyinfalkirk.com or 0871 220 0260.