Funnyman McAleer at the Millennium Forum

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Kevin McAleer is a very funny man - I know this to be true because he made me laugh on a very cold Wednesday afternoon when I was in the midst of a serious midweek slump.

From Tyrone and famed for his deadpan delivery of the sublimely ridiculous, Kevin McAleer is one of a rare breed - a comedian who is as funny off the stage as he is on it.

“Ah, what can the local audiences expect?” he said, “Pretty much just further adventures into what lives inside the head of Kevin McAleer - or in other words just another load of nonsense. It’s a similar style to what I’ve done before - just a little more silly.”

Kevin will be bringing his brand of comedy to the stage of the Millennium Forum next Thursday night. It’s a venue he loves to play. “It’s a great place to play. I’ve been there a few times before - not in a while though, I’d say it has been about three years - but I’m looking forward to it.”

Popular with Derry audiences, Kevin recently headlined at Derry’s Mason’s Comedy Club which he said showed him just how the comedy scene is evolving locally. “It’s a lovely, very intimate venue - and very friendly, which is always a bonus. The crowd is young, very young, which is refreshing for me. It’s always nice to have people the same age as your own children laugh at you. It makes me feel as if I’m not an old fart.”

The 54 year-old said it was refreshing to see so many people take an interest in comedy, especially in this austere times. “Of course it’s great that people are still choosing their money to enjoy comedy. That they still enjoy being a wee bit silly.”

He said he’s delighted to see a growing interest in comedy in the City of Culture - and he credits it to the ‘Michael McIntyre Factor’ which he said wouldn’t be popular with everyone.

“TV shows such as Michael McIntyre’s Comedy Roadshow have given newer comics the chance to showcase themselves but it has also put stand- up back on prime time TV. I know there are people who don’t approve of that but I say anything which feeds into the industry, which creates more of an interest in what you are doing, is a good thing.”

Famous for his off the wall observations and journeys into the surreal, Kevin admits most of his material is scripted before he hits the stage. “Oh it would be wonderful if it all just rolled off the tongue and came off the top of my head. The truth is it often has to be dragged out of me, kicking and screaming.

“It’s brilliant when it happens though - when you are on stage and you wander off on a tangent. I tend to find myself in the dressing room after nights like that scribbling furiously trying to remember what the hell I just said.”

To book tickets for Kevin’s hilarious show, call the Millennium Forum on 71264455.