I’M an accidental Michael McIntyre fan.
It happened overnight, around Christmas time when his Saturday night TV show, Michael McIntyre’s Big Show, happened to be on in the background after my Strictly Come Dancing fix.
I found myself laughing, a lot. His skits were great (the Celebrity Send to All game is a stroke of genius), his interaction with the audience was charming and the very cute Unexpected Star of the Show often had me close to tears.
But he’s not really a cool, credible choice of comedian to reference. Goofy, middle class, shouty and overbearing — not my usual type of humour.
Perhaps catching his live show will reaffirm that he’s not for me, I thought — but I was wrong.
McIntyre visited Sheffield on Saturday as part of his Big World Tour, which runs until next year, and performed to a record-breaking crowd.
It was FlyDSA Arena’s biggest ever attendance for a seated performance at 12,347 — beating Micky Flanagan’s 2014 record by 116.
McIntyre looks at home playing to huge crowds. He first visited the arena in 2009 and has since played ten dates at the venue to almost 100,000 people.
His recent London mugging, which made headline news, provided him with a lot of new material to fire off with — he joked he had been nervous to arrive at the arena and see a sign for the Sheffield Steelers.
There were some revealing stories about his ageing (non) sex life with his wife of 18 years due to their ailing health — getting out of bed in the morning was now like a GP consultation, he said.
I could have done without the quip about his wife fetishising black men — this dated stereotype felt out of place. But that aside, the rest of his style and humour is very accessible, which is probably why he’s the highest-grossing comedian in the world, and it was nice to see children enjoying the show with their parents.
His ability to give life to everyday objects, like a car indicator, and dramatise mundane situations such as sitting in a traffic jam were very relateable.
After a healthy 90-minute set his encore was nearly upstaged by a fly, which he managed to accidentally grab in one hand while gesticulating about men’s toilet etiquette.
He was big, loud and side-splittingly funny.
My cheeks were aching by the end of the evening, and my feet are now both firmly in the fan club.
The tour hits the road again in September. To buy tickets, visit /www.michaelmcintyre.co.uk/big-world-tour/.