Ross Noble On

Starring: Ross Noble
BBC Audio
RRP: 12.99
ISBN-13: 978 0 5635 0401 6
ISBN-10: 0 56350 401 3
Available 05 March 2007

Multi-award winning stand-up comedian Ross Noble goes on the road around Britain in these four episodes from his third BBC Radio 4 series...

Known for his freewheeling improvisational style, Ross Noble On provides more of Noble's badly researched 'local' insight, as he performs to packed houses in Brighton, Manchester, York and Newcastle. The result is a hilarious journey across some of the UK's major cities as Noble explores local themes throughout his live performances.

Listening to this CD collection it's obvious that the majority of Noble's comedy is made up on the spur of the moment. When he first goes to the audience with a "What do you do for a living?" question my heart sank. I was worried that he had turned into a bad '80s comics. But, being Noble he's never stuck for something controversial to say.

The first gig is in Brighton. Here Noble manages to accidentally insult several members of the audience. First he inadvertently implies that a woman in the audience is a dog and then he mistakes the female usherette for a man - because she has short hair and he "couldn't see her knockers".

The next stop is York. Here Noble pleads for women who have large breasts to buy a slightly larger dress. He also complains how his trip to the York Viking Centre was ruined by the sight of a Viking eating Jaffa Cakes - not a snack he remembers the Vikings surviving on from the history books. He is also surprised to see another guy walking around the city dressed as a Roman but carrying a Superdrug bag - again, not authentic dress.

It's amazing how many people turn up late to his gigs, but then this provides a lot of gags for his act. There's the woman in Manchester who turns up late yawning. When Noble picks up on this, she yells out that she wasn't yawning, she was terrified. Of course this sets Noble off on a tangent.

The audience in Newcastle seem to have all turned up in fancy dress there are goths, girls dressed as Noble's pixies, and even Super Ted. Rather scarily Noble seems to know the entire words and the song from the opening credits of the Super Ted TV show. Then there's the poor man who turns up late because he's been visiting a friend who's been run over by an ambulance. Of course, Noble can't help himself and, once he's satisfied that the girl in question is okay, he launches off on a line of close to the knuckle gags. And, when a woman turns up late and cheekily asks if she's missed much, quick as a shot Noble gives her a short run down of the highlights. Then he stops, turns to the audience and asks: "Shall I just start again from the beginning?"

This series illustrates why Noble is such a well loved comic. Even when he's insulting people he does it in a playful, harmless way. Each episode has a selection of Q&As with the audience after the end credits.

Noble fans will want to add this to their collection, but to be honest, anyone who has a sense of humour should pick this great collection up.

Nick Smithson

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