It is hard to believe that Ross Noble is celebrating his 21st year in comedy, but then he did start at the age of just 15.
“I used to wear a suit on stage to appear older,” he remembers. “My age was a big novelty, all anyone was interested in, and I had to fight against that for a long time.
“I turned down TV stuff that wanted to pigeon-hole me as this young act.
“I have been going a long time, but you have to do stand-up for 10 years before you even become a comedian. I think I’m finally getting really good at it.” Ross is bringing his Mindblender tour to Birmingham next week, and he’s also making his acting debut in a gory horror film, playing a killer clown in Stitches which opens on October 26.
The chilling role brought back bad memories of his early years as a children’s entertainer.
He plays a clown who is accidentally killed by a group of kids. Years later, he returns from the dead to seek his revenge.
“I’d done this for real,” remembers Ross.
“Before I went into stand-up, between the ages of 10 to 14, I was obsessed with the circus.
“I learned to juggle and ride a unicycle, and dressed as a clown. I would busk in the middle of Newcastle and do a lot of kids’ parties, village fetes and agricultural shows.
“It was satisfying to be able to kill a few children on screen.
“And I thought ‘at least more people will see this, I’m not just doing it for £30 and as much cake as I can eat’.”
* Ross plays Birmingham’s Alexandra Theatre from October 16-18. For tickets ring 0844 8713011 or go to www.atgtickets.com/birmingham.