DAVE Spikey's 30th anniversary tour, Juggling On A Motorbike, is stretching into a 31st anniversary year after the Lancashire comic and raconteur added more dates for 2018.

Among them will be York Barbican on Thursday (March 22), when Spikey looks back on his journey from working-class lad, to chief biomedical scientist at Bolton Royal Infirmary, to comedy performer and writer via Phoenix Nights, 8 Out Of 10 Cats, Bullseye, Dead Man Weds, Magnolia and The Royal Variety Show.

Spikey had been working in the National Health Service for 19 years when, in 1987, someone uttered the immortal words: "You’re really funny, you should be a comedian". Taking them seriously, within a few months he won the national talent show Stairway To The Stars.

One of the judges, Larry Grayson, no less, told him the result was close run but what clinched the award for Spikey was his routine about a juggler on a motorbike. Fast forward 13 years to Friday, October 13 2000, the day Spikey when switched off his microscope for the last time in the haematology laboratory and the microphone took over full time.

Now, for his 30th anniversary tour, Spikey is delivering "something old, something new, nothing borrowed, nothing blue" as he tells the story of his journey in comedy. "But more than that, I look at the years before – my formative years – that helped mould me into that person, who, when given the opportunity to make a massive jump from biomedical science to professional comedian, embraced and took that chance," he says.

"So, expect stories of my working-class childhood, living in that idiomatic world that kids do where I 'needed to pull my socks up' in order to do better and I shouldn’t be impatient because 'a watched kettle never boils' (it does, I tried it).

"[Stories of] the great influence that my parents and grandparents exerted on me, especially my crazy grandma, who warned me that if I burped, hiccuped and f**ted at the same time, I’d turn inside out. [Stories of[ my passing the 11-plus and going to grammar school."

Next came Spikey's hospital life, from junior technician in microbiology to his time in haematology, mixing emergency on-call cover with hospital pantomimes, with marriage along the way.

His first steps into stand-up in talent shows and at working men’s clubs in Yorkshire elicited an unforgettable comment overheard in the gents. "What do you think of the comedian?" one voice asked. "He’s all right if you like laughing," another replied.

There followed the leap into full-time comedy; meeting and collaborating with Peter Kay on That Peter Kay Thing and Phoenix Nights; his own show Dead Man Weds, 8 Out Of Ten Cats team captaincy and "all points along the way to his sixth national tour", Juggling On A Motorbike.

York Press:

"My comedy is for everyone who likes to laugh. I mean proper enjoys laughing," says Dave Spikey

"There's a moment's reflection that if I hadn’t won that first Stairway To The Stars in Torquay, I might have jacked comedy in and concentrated on my haematology career. That if the great Larry Grayson hadn’t told me that I clinched the title with my routine about a juggler on a motorbike, I wouldn’t, in the year 2000, have switched my microscope off for the last time and found myself the following week on a windy rain-swept car park down the road, dressed as a giant berry singing Walking On Sunshine."

From where does Spikey draw his comic material? Down the pub, maybe? "Some of it, yes. My local is a very small terraced local pub. It's friendly, it’s welcoming and it has a fantastically varied range of customers, ranging from company directors to printers to labourers, and the great thing is that as soon as you come through the pub doors, it’s a level playing field," he says.

"This eclectic mix of age/sex/profession provides, on most nights, stimulating banter on an incredibly wide range of topics from European pallet sizes to Basque terrorism to Donald Trump. (You can’t trust him as far as you can throw him – so that’s not far – is the consensus).

"Most of the facts and opinions offered are wildly exaggerated or frankly unbelievable but, as my best mate Paul says, 'hey, making it up, doesn’t make it wrong'. I’ve been going in to meet my mates early doors since I moved into the village long before I became a professional comedian and I’ve garnered so much material from there.

"But more than that, it’s the world around us that provides most material; observing people, hearing people sharing life experiences, but also from newspapers, TV, radio. Life’s a comedy/drama."

Funny stuff happens every day, reckons Spikey. "It happens to us, to people we know or strangers. We laugh, we tell other people about it at work, at play, down the pub, then generally forget it," he says.

"It’s a comedian’s job, his skill, to embellish and exaggerate that event into a bigger better comedy moment. Then, after putting his/her own spin on it, remind people of it. Because the bottom line is that if I’ve seen it or it’s happened to me, sure as eggs are eggs – and they are – it’s happened to everybody else.

"We’re not unique, so they’ll laugh because it’s the comedy of association and also because you put your unique spin on it and brought it to life bigger and hopefully funnier."

As Juggling On A Bike affirms once more, Spikey could not have a broader aim for his comedy. "It's for everyone who likes to laugh," he says. "I mean proper enjoys laughing."

Dave Spikey, Juggling On A Motorbike, 30th Anniversary Tour, York Barbican, Thursday (March 22), 7.30pm. Tickets update: still available at £19.60 on 0844 854 2757 or at yorkbarbican.co.uk