Funny man Des McLean returns to Motherwell with new stand-up show

Des McLean
Des McLean

Comedian Des McLean is delighted to be leaving the Braveheart costume in the closet and getting back on stage as himself.

Coming off the back of his highly successful A-Z of Scotland tour Des has written a new stand-up show and can’t wait to perform at Motherwell Theatre on Saturday, April 9.

He said: “With the Independence Referendum, the Commonwealth Games and the Ryder Cup making 2014 the most Scottish year ever, it was the perfect time to do an A-Z of Scotland.

“It was a great success and the DVD of the show means it will live on, some people had even suggested to me that I next do an A-Z of Edinburgh or Glasgow, but really it’s time for something new.

“The A-Z of Scotland had some great video sketches featuring people like Colin McCreadie, but even while I was watching them I just wanted to get on the microphone and tell stories.

“During the tour I was picking up material and between gigs trying them out at small comedy venues, eventually I had about an hour and I was asked to appear at the Harbour Arts Centre in Irvine and it went brilliant.

“Now I have about 90 minutes worth of what I think is great stand-up and I’ll be pleased that I can leave the projector and the costume at home and just get back to being myself.

“I play Motherwell pretty much every year and it is always an excellent night, for whatever reason outside of Glasgow, Motherwell and Greenock are the two towns I always do down best in.

“My wife is actually from Motherwell so needless to say I have quite an affinity with the place and I can’t wait to come back.”

Des made his stand-up debut in 2000 and having performed in Las Vegas for the first time last year he thinks he is now getting the hang of it.

He said: “The top American comedian Louis CK said it takes 15 years to get good at stand-up so I think I am now at that point.

“When I left school I first went into the building trade with my dad and then into sales, it’s not to say I was bad at it, but I was much more concerned with making my colleagues laugh during our breaks.

“I actually made my debut at Blackfriars in Glasgow when another comedian hadn’t turned up and although I really didn’t want to, I agreed to go five minutes and it went okay.

“I probably got in at just the right time, because in the last few years there has been such a surge in people trying to be comedians it must be really hard to get yourself noticed.

“In the last 16 years I’ve hosted the Radio Clyde breakfast show, I’ve done panto, I acted as Tommy Sheridan in I Tommy, been to New Zealand and Australia and last year I got to perform in Vegas.

“I was actually standing in a wet Robroyston when a group of ex-pats got in touch to ask if I would perform for three nights at the Imperial, which I later learned was Frank Sinatra’s favourite venue.

“Seems they were looking for a Scottish comedian to bring over and having gone on my website they’d decided on me which was very nice.

“My wife and I were put up in a suite for 10 days and I only had to perform on three of them and the rest of the time we could do what we wanted so it was great experience.”

Des also went somewhat back into his past when he worked with indie group Belle and Sebastian prior to their show at the SSE Hydro last year.

Prior to the gig starting fans were treated to a short video sketch of Des appearing as Billy Connolly at the Hollywood Bowl (the one in Coatbridge).

He said: “I got a message on my Facebook from Stevie Jackson of the band saying they had a proposal for me and I wondered what on Earth they wanted.

“I used to be in a thing called Dance, Monkey Boy, Dance and it turned out they were big fans of the Billy Connolly character I did back then.

“I wasn’t too keen to revive him as I thought it was a bit old hat, but they insisted so I grabbed a wig, that was actually a ‘Scary Spice’ wig, and a terrible beard and shot about eight minutes of material.

“I just let them decide amongst themselves what they wanted to use, in the end they showed about three and half minutes, and it was good to be able to just sit back and enjoy it with the audience.”

The show starts at 8pm and tickets costing £13 (£11 concession) are available by calling 01698 403120 or online