Stand-up comedian and Phoenix Nights star Dave Spikey is heading to Buxton next month with his Juggling On A Motorbike tour.
The show, named after his winning performance on Stairway to the Stars in 1987, is a celebration of three decades in comedy.
The 66-year-old has been on tour since the middle of last year, but says he likes to take time to reflect after each show and not do too many dates in one go.
He said: “I like to get things right and do my best with every show.
“In fact I treat being on tour like I’m revising for an exam. On the day of every show I write out the set in long hand, this gives me a chance to add new things, take bits out and shuffle things around.
“I don’t save my new jokes for the next tour - if something is funny I will add it in. I love to make people laugh and want to use all the best bits now.”
Dave spent 32 years of his life working in the haematology laboratory at Bolton Royal Hospital. Winning the talent show meant he was balancing his family life with his career and trying to make it as stand-up comedian.
“It was tough at times,” he said. “I was working all day then travelling to Sheffield, Liverpool or even London for a five-minute slot just to get my name out there, then driving home.
“Working at the hospital I’d got to the top of my game.
“I was the lab chief and going any higher would have meant more meetings and being a manager, which isn’t something I wanted to do, and I was getting better at my stand-up craft and it seemed the right time to make the leap to be a full-time comedian.”
He went on to write and star in the cult phenomenon Phoenix Nights.
“Television changes everything,” Dave said. “It was a springboard to the next level for me, but it is still so nice to hear it is loved so much.
“You never think when you start out writing something that 12 episodes would be so loved and relatable for so many. It’s like a right of passage for anyone in the north that they have to watch it.”
He has also starred as a team captain on Eight Out Ten Cats and presented the classic gameshow Bullseye.
Dave is looking forward to returning to Buxton, having spent time in Castleton while filming his comedy Dead Man Weds which starred Johnny Vegas.
He also performed at New Mills Art Theatre just after it has been refurbished.
Dave said: “I’m lucky I’ve been able to pick places I like going and I have always loved Buxton.
“When I performed here last there was a star on the dressing room, and you don’t get that everywhere. It’s normally just someone shouting ‘you’re in room three’, and it’s those little things which make all the difference.”
Dave is busy writing more screenplays and comedies and says he can get lost in the world he is writing: “When I get some downtime I like to potter about in the garden. I’m not very good but I enjoy it. Making people laugh is my true passion.”
•Juggling On A Motorbike is at Buxton Opera House on Thursday February 1. Tickets are £17.50. Call 01298 72190 or click here to buy tickets.