Dave Spikey says he’s never once regretted leaving his career as a biomedical scientist to become a professional comedian.
The Bolton native first found fame in 2001 when he starred alongside Peter Kay in the hugely popular Channel 4 series ‘Phoenix Nights’, which followed the trials and tribulations of running a working man’s club.
By then he was already an established stand-up comic and building a loyal fan base thanks to a brand of good-natured, observational humour and his warm Lancashire personality.
Spikey will be performing at Falkirk Town Hall on Thursday, July 25, as part of the fourth annual Funny in Falkirk festival.
It’s a lifestyle far removed from the 61-year-old’s previous career as a respected haematologist.
He told The Falkirk Herald it was an easy decision to hang up his lab coat and focus his attentions on comedy.
“Everything you’ve read about bureaucracy in the NHS is true,” he said.
“The longer I did my job, and the better I became at it, the more I found myself spending time in meetings and away from the lab.
“I went full-time with comedy on October 13, 2001. It was the right move at the right time.”
Spikey will perform his show ‘Words Don’t Come Easy’ in Falkirk next month, which is inspired by his love of the English language.
“On my last tour I did a segment on ridiculous song lyrics and it’s grown from that. I love the different meanings people give to words and phrases depending on where you are.
“When I was going to the football in Wigan, I stopped a bloke in the street and asked him: ‘how do you get to the JJB Stadium?’ He said: ‘my brother takes me’.”
The Lancastrian says his love of the spoken word stems from his childhood, when he was brought up listening to the radio as his parents could not afford a television set.
“I was blessed with very inspiring parents who were self-educated and always encouraged me. I was the only kid in our area to pass the 11+”.
One question Spikey is regularly asked by fans, journalists and random passers-by alike is whether we can expect a new series of Phoenix Nights.
“I know Peter has hinted at it, but the truth is me and Neil (Fitzmaurice, co-writer and co-star) haven’t heard anything about it.
“It’s been ten years, I don’t know if a new series would work. But it’s the ideal show for a Christmas special.”