SCOTTISH comedian Gary Meikle is heading back out on the road across the UK in 2020 with a 44-date tour titled Surreal, including a date at Newcastle’s Tyne Theatre & Opera House.

Meikle has had quite the year – having been on the stand-up circuit since 2014, one of his social media video rants about his daughter’s obsession with her eyebrows, went viral in early 2019, and Gary rocketed to international fame, taking his stand-up comedy across the globe. His new stand-up show Surreal tells this story, also drawing material from real-life, focusing heavily on his daughter Ainsley and granddaughter Gracie and his experiences as a live-in single dad and granddad.

Let’s start with your brand new 2020 global tour. What can audiences expect?

What they can expect is a lot more honesty in terms of my opinions. My previous tour The iBrow Guy was pretty much my life story, I thought what better story to tell in my first tour. Ninety per cent of The iBrow Guy tour was focused on my childhood, Ainsley (Gary’s daughter) and Gracie (Gary’s granddaughter). I think I will always talk about my girls and my family life in my shows, but I’ll definitely be more opinionated on this tour.

Why Surreal?

The tour is called Surreal, because that’s pretty much how my year’s been since my videos went viral, it just got a little crazy overnight. I’ve got a bit of imposter syndrome about it. I find it all very… well yeah, surreal.

Your most recent, debut worldwide tour The iBrow Guy was a sell-out, how did it feel to see your audience grow so fast?

Again, surreal, it was just amazing! Because of my past, whatever happens to me in adult life, I just kind of take it, it’s like, not a lot phases me. I don’t overthink it, I accept it and I’m grateful for it. It’s just a lovely thing for me.

When did you start out in comedy? How did it all begin?

I was a debt collector for nine years, but because I’m small and I smile too much, they wouldn’t let me out of the office. I was made a part of the social committee at work and that meant I had to send out an email bulletin about all sorts of boring work stuff. So in-between them to liven things up a bit, I used to write jokes. People would respond really well, I think that’s the first time in my life that I was told that I was funny.

I was always daft, and people would always laugh at me, but mainly for the stupid things I did. Like, I was in that job for nine years, but it took me seven years before I discovered that I had Microsoft Word! Honestly, I’m that much of a technophobe.

After that, I did open spots at comedy clubs and then it grew from there. It wasn’t intentional, I never dreamt of being a comedian, it just happened.

You have an extremely close relationship with your daughter; you brought her up as a single parent, becoming a dad at the young age of 17, and more recently she’s had a daughter and you’ve become a grandad, with them both living with you. How does your domestic life influence your material?

Oh massively, my life is hell, but I’ve got to put up with it for my material. Na, I’m only kidding. They influence it massively, you see the things I talk about on stage, they’re not made up, they’re all true stories. The audience resonate with that as well, I think they can tell that I’m being honest. I think if it’s real life, it tends to be funnier.

  • Gary Meikle: Surreal, Newcastle, Tyne Theatre & Opera House, Saturday, September 5 2020. or contact 0844 249 1000 for tickets.