Comedy ‘genius’ Raymond Mearns brings his solo show to Falkirk

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He’s the man Billy Connolly says “knows how to swear properly.”

Glasgow-born comedian Raymond Mearns also counts fellow Scottish comedians Frankie Boyle and Kevin Bridges as fans, as well as pals.

Mearns, as well as being highly respected on the comedy circuit, is also an actor and a regular on hit BBC Scotland sketch show Breaking The News where he shares his super sharp quips and witticisms on current affairs.

He’s just landed a part in a new Channel Four film called Limbo, set in Benbecula and is not long back from a 26-night sell out run at The Fringeworld in Perth, Australia.

And if all that wasn’t enough he’s currently touring his first solo Scottish tour in a decade, ‘Confessions of a Control Freak!’ which will be shown at FTH Theatre on July 20.

Raymond said: “The Australians went daft for the show, a mix of locals and ex-pats wanting a flavour of back home.

“Though, as much as I loved being out there, I wasn’t a fan of being stung by a massive Australian Bull Ant which I think has left me scarred for life! Give me the Scottish midge any day of the week over that!”

‘Confessions of a Control Freak’ might be Raymond’s first solo tour in a decade but he’s well used to being busy with regular gigs across the UK and abroad.

“I had a bit of time in the diary for April, May and June and thought why not do a solo tour as I haven’t done one in ages so I contacted all my favourite theatres across the country myself to ask them if they’d have me and fortunately they all said yes!

“It’s been great touring in Scotland again and the Falkirk gig will actually be the last night of the show. I’m proud to be closing it here as I like the place a lot. I actually used to work here as I got a job in the Grangemouth Refinery after I left school and used to drink in pubs like The Drookit Duck. I’ve also done gigs at Behind the Wall – folk in Falkirk always give me a great welcome and are always up for a good night and a laugh.”

Raymond’s new show is about life and love, with lots of laughs along the way.

“It’s basically about my life. About situations over the years I’ve tried to control, bending things to try and go the way I want them to and how it’s never worked – you can’t do it,” he said. “The best thing is just to go with the flow and not take yourself too seriously. I know that now and I appreciate I have a wonderful life. I get to make people laugh for fun and go all around the world. It’s a privilege.”

One of Raymond’s personal claims to fame is being told that he “knows how to swear properly” by none other than comedy legend Billy Connolly.

He recalls: “The only person I ever wanted to meet was Billy Connolly – I’m a huge fan. Then one day in 2003 he walks into a gig I’m doing. I said to him ‘What are you doing here?’ and he says ‘I’ve come to see you!’

“We stood at the bar chatting and he said he was in town to see his chiropractor and we had a chat about normal stuff then I realised it was time to go on stage and I would be performing in front of this world heavy-weight comedy champion.

“It actually turned out to be the best gig I’ve ever done because he was there. Afterwards he came up and told me and said ‘I really enjoyed that and I’ll tell you something – you really know how to swear properly!’ Bruce Morton was there that night to witness it – it made my day.”

Other famous Scottish comedians have also endorsed Raymond, with Frankie Boyle calling him “a genuine improvisational genius” and Kevin Bridges saying he “loves watching him”.

Raymond said: “I’ve known both Frankie and Kevin for 20-odd years – they’re great guys. Frankie started doing comedy in the 1990s and moved to London for a wee while. Kevin started around 2004. He was just 17 then when he started and he was brilliant from the off. He always seemed far more advanced than his years and has always been very driven and motivated so I’m not surprised he’s done so well for himself.”

So what’s next for Raymond after his last tour show in Falkirk?

“Well, I’m going on a holiday to Thurso with the wife. I love it up there – we’ve got a wee caravan that looks out over the sea towards Orkney – heaven. Then I’ll be back at the Edinburgh Fringe doing gigs at the Beehive Inn every night in August and I’m also doing an afternoon show with the fantastic Gary Little which should be a brilliant laugh and very high octane – come along and see for yourself!”

For tickets to see Raymond at FTH Theatre call 01324 506850 and for information about his upcoming Fringe shows in Edinburgh visit www.raymondmearns.co.uk