SAME OLD NONSENSE
When: Sunday, October 28, 8pm.
Where: Hull City Hall, Queen Victoria Square, Hull.
To book: 01482 300300.
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Precocious: Noble started performing stand-up at his local comedy club at the age of 15. Licensing laws meant he had to leave through the kitchen.
Oz: He lived on a farm in St Andrews, on the outskirts of Melbourne, Australia, until it was destroyed by the 2009 bushfires along with all his possessions.
Wheels: He is a keen biker and off-road rider.
In stitches: The comic will make his big screen debut as a psychotic undead clown in the new horror comedy Stitches, which is released on October 26. In the movie, Noble plays a clown who returns to wreak revenge after he is accidentally killed at a children's party.
It has been two years since surreal funnyman Ross Noble stood on a comedy stage – but now he's back. But is the Geordie comic worried he may have lost it? Ian Midgley finds out
Z ombie clowns, electric lemons, Bernard Manning's band and what would happen if he was Harold Bishop from Neighbour's boyfriend are just a few of the things fizzing through Ross Noble's brain today.
To be fair, it is just a typical day inside the Geordie funnyman's noggin. If a minute goes by without a monkey riding a unicycle through his grey matter, there will usually be two pedalling through shortly afterwards, wearing hats, to make up for it.
It must be exhausting being this perpetually surreal, twisting reality for comic effect 24 hours a day.
That is why, two years ago, the 36-year-old decided to take a break – and try his hand at leading what the rest of us call "a normal life".
"I was supposed to be having a break," says the affable and always engaging Geordie, who remains one of the most successful live comedians working today.
"I decided to take a step back from doing the big tours, have a bit of a rest and enjoy myself. I just thought a bit of a recharge of the batteries would do me good.
"But then, last year Eddie Izzard came along and asked me to do a Laugh In The Park, which was three nights playing to 10,000 people in this huge arena.
"Then Peter Richardson got in touch, said he was getting The Comic Strip back together and wondered if I would be interested in taking part?
"He said he'd written a part especially for me so it would've been rude to say no.
"So, long story short, my time off ended up being quite busy.
"But stand-up wise this is the first tour I've done in ages – and I'm actually quite looking forward to it."
Noble self-deprecatingly describes his latest foray into the realms of madness, called Mindblinder, as his "usual old nonsense".
For a comedian who is celebrating his 20th year in the business ("I started when I was foetus" is his excuse) he is still remarkably inventive.
He is not quite sure what he will be talking about when he arrives at Hull City Hall, on Saturday, October 28, because, he says, he hasn't "unleashed the gremlins" in his head that write the jokes yet. They usually turn up just before he walks on stage.
The upside of this is no two nights on his 49-date tour are the same.
The downside of this is, he says, after not doing it for a while you just hope the gremlins haven't moved out.
So, after such a long stretch away, did he ever worry that he wouldn't be able to recapture his comedy mojo?
"There was an element of that," he says.
"I did my first show back in Hobart, in Australia, and before I went on I was worried – you know, what if I've lost it?
"But it was actually amazing. More than anything it made me realised how much I'd missed it.
"Stand-up is a bit like a drug. Once you get a laugh, you want another, and another.
"You can get addicted to it.
"One thing I realised, and I don't want to sound big-headed here, is that if you have people giving you standing ovations and weeping with laughter you can become quite blasé about it. When you come on and get that first laugh, you realise 'oh yes, that's why I do it'."