TICKETS are still available for I, Daniel Blake film star Dave Johns' return to the comedy circuit in York on Sunday night.

He will be performing a brand new tour show inspired by his extraordinary experience in the film world when he played the lead in Ken Loach's award-winning social drama.

"It's a work in progress, but the working title is I Filum, Star," says the North Eastern comic, whose title reflects the Geordie way of pronouncing "film".

He will be road-testing his new material at the new York comedy night, Even Better Comedy, run by promoters Charlene Murray and Mark Hayden at The Crescent Community Venue, this weekend.

"The York show will be me warming up the show for the Edinburgh Fringe and it'll reflect on what happened to me with all those red carpet events over the last year," says the Wallsend comedian, writer and actor.

"I thought it would be nice to hang on to that story to use as the basis for a show, and that's now become the narrative, as I've written material about how it's affected me and and the things I've seen.

"I'll be talking about how I've gone from working in clubs to going to the Cannes Film Festival, winning the Palme d'Or, the BAFTAs, and being on the red carpet with all those stars."

The impact of Ken Loach's film has rivalled even his best known work, Kes. Johns plays Daniel Blake, a 59-year-old widowed carpenter who must rely on welfare after a heart attack leaves him unable to work, but despite his doctor's diagnosis, the authorities deny Blake any benefits and tell him to return to his job.

"I, Daniel Blake is an important moment of social realism, and all I can say about the awards and all the things that have happened to me is that it's been a moment of social surrealism!" says Johns, who had spent almost three decades on the comedy circuit before being picked out for Loach's film.

"Doing stand-up, you're on your own and it's very immediate; you get an instant response. When you shoot a film, and we shot I, Daniel Blake in October/November 2015, it's only now that you know what the effect is," he says.

York Press:

Dave Johns in a scene from Ken Loach's I, Daniel Blake

"It's interesting making a film, but you never see it until it's gone away to be edited; you don't see it until it's shown in the editing room, and then you can't change it. That's why a lot of directors and performers will only watch it once, because if you watch it again, you'll think, 'oh why did I do it like that?'. There'll always be bits you wish you could have done differently, whereas on stage I can change a show. The new live show will evolve on the road and by the time it goes to York it will have changed beyond recognition."

Johns began breaking in I, Filum Star in late-March, which may seem a long way ahead of his Fringe run this summer, but he has plenty on his plate at present. "I have to fit the whole tour around the new film I'm making [Gary Young's directorial debut Two Graves], a new British comedy being backed by a major Hollywood studio," he says. "I'm filming it all round Yorkshire in an eight-week shoot, and I'm doing dates between March and July, popping off to do shows between shoots."

Through the years, Johns has played all manner of comedy shows, now adding The Crescent in June to that list. "I've done gigs in Cambodia; I've done gigs in India. I've played to ten people; I've played to 5,000 people. I've played a fishermen's bar in Tromso, in the Arctic Circle in Norway; I've done gigs to 4,000 people in the cabaret tent at Glastonbury," he says.

"The only audience you can't connect with is an indifferent audience, but as you do comedy more and more, you pick your places to play and you have your gut reaction as to when it'll work, but there's always a gig around the corner that will surprise you, but that keeps you on your toes!"

Should you be wondering how Dave Johns landed the role of Daniel Blake, here is his recollection. "I did some plays up at the Edinburgh Festival, 12 Angry Men with some comedians and One Flew Over The Cuckoo's Nest with Christian Slater, and the producer of those shows heard Ken Loach was looking for a guy of my age for the role," he says. "After four castings, with lots of North Eastern actors going for it, Ken offered me the part, and it's been a great honour to play Daniel Blake.

"The film has changed many people's lives and, of course, it's changed my life too, like bringing me more films."

Dave Johns plays the Even Better Comedy night at The Crescent Community Venue, York, on Sunday, June 18, supported by Barry Dodds and Jenny Collier, 7pm to 10.30pm. Box office: