North Comedy Star Returns Home

North-East born comedy star Albi Senior tagged The British Bulldog of Comedy is returning home to next weekend for a very rare few dates on familiar territory.

Senior is keen to revisit the clubs that had been his base when he first started out on his successful career that is flourishing to this day in Spain where he has become an iconic figure and the main headline act.

The Darlington-born former taxi driver headed to Costa Blanca in 2002 and has since become one of the best known international comedians on the circuit.

The near the knuckle comedy star headlines twice nightly shows in Benidorm, working at the Zodiacs and Rockerfellas cabaret bars.

Senior, real name Gary Russell, decided to make comedy his career when he chose to give it a go, after taxi driving around the Darlington area.

He said: “I just loved the customers in my car and I remember they always would tell me how I cheered them up with the laughs we would share in my cab.

“I started doing dates for AIR Agency based in Spennymoor and it really took off for me. I was appearing in clubs and the loads of venues around the UK were telling me that they had been putting up sold out signs at the venues across the country ahead of my appearances.

“When I first started out there were some great local comedians working the thriving social club scene back at home.

“Brilliant comics like Walter Gee, Peter De Dee, Bobby Thompson and Micky Gunn were working seven nights a week and of course two or three gigs every Sunday.’’

Senior recalled: “The clubs were designated ‘men only’ on a Sunday afternoon and a comedian would simply go from one club to the next. It was exhausting work but great to master your craft in such demanding circumstances. I was picking up awards as ‘Comedian of The Year’ and just felt it was a world away from taxi driving in Darlo.’’

He is for a few dates in Stockton, at the Hardwick Social Club ( already a sell out) on Saturday December 1. He will also appear at the Trimdon and Deaf Hill Workmens Club, Trimdon Station. on Friday November 30th, and Sunday December 2nd at The Big Club, Newton Aycliffe - limited tickets are available for these two shows.

He added: “These are three clubs in which I played my early gigs and they hold a special place in my mind for me, it will be nice to g back whilst I am home for a few days in Darlington to see my family.

“It is hard to imagine that over in Benidorm these days I work each night with two shows per night and the places are packed.

“It would be hard to put a figure on the numbers of people that attend my shows each year, and many of them come back for more, time and time again.. They arrive from all over the world and I’m very humbled by the huge following my work has gained around the world – it’s staggering really.’’

The iconic Benidorm-based comic is promoted on huge billboards around the town and has picked up endless awards for his comedy work since being based in Spain.

He added: “Benidorm has just recorded record figures for the summer in terms of numbers visiting the town, and next summer is likely to beat that – so these really are the great times. I am just thrilled to be playing my part in the huge success story.

“It is also lovely to hear that tickets for my gigs back in the North East are flying out too – I must be doing something right!’’

Limited tickets are available for just two of Albi’s shows next weekend at the Trimdon and Deaf Hill Workmens club, Trimdon Station (November 30th) Tel – 01429 – 880267 and The Big Club, Newton Aycliffe (Sunday December 2nd ) 01325 312 949.