He is the huge comedy star who keeps breaking his own records.
Michael McIntyre’s debut stand-up DVD Live and Laughing was the fastest-selling of all time, only to be eclipsed by his second, Hello Wembley, that sold more than 1.4 million copies.
On his first tour he performed for half a million people during 54 dates. Now he’s embarking on an epic 71-date arena tour, with a whopping eight dates at Birmingham’s NIA. Last time he came, in 2009, it was for five nights.
His is the longest-ever run of dates at the full NIA, although Jasper Carrott managed 14 nights at the smaller NIA Academy in 2004.
Michael has already sold 550,000 tickets nationwide and four of the eight Birmingham shows are sold out, but there are tickets left for September 17-20 inclusive.
After a three-year absence from the live arena, Michael is thrilled to be back on the road.
“I am so excited about this tour,” he beams. “I want this to be the best show I’ve ever done! I’m aiming as high as I can and hoping to give people the best night of their lives. My intention is to make you laugh properly for two solid hours.
“At the beginning of this year, I said to myself, I just want to focus on what I do best, which is stand-up.
“TV producers find stand-ups at the Edinburgh Festival and say ‘Do you want to do a sitcom?’. But that’s a totally different thing. It would be like finding a good sprinter at a running track and saying ‘Do you want to be a cricketer?’. Or ‘You’re great at hurdling. How do you fancy putting together a property business?’. It just doesn’t make sense.
“I thought I’d done enough TV recently. I have done three Royal Variety Performances, two series of Michael McIntyre’s Comedy Roadshow and a Christmas special, three episodes of Live at the Apollo and Britain’s Got Talent.”
Michael has spent months honing his act with warm-up gigs.
“I pride myself on always creating entirely new material,” says the 36-year-old. “The most difficult part was walking on stage at the Pleasance Theatre in North London with a blank sheet of paper. People were paying £5 to watch a comedian with no jokes. I imagined them spending all day boasting to their friends in the office – ‘Guess where I’m going tonight for £5?’