NATIONAL radio breakfast presenter Christian O’Connell will be at Bromsgrove’s Artrix this weekend, performing in front of a sell-out crowd.
The Absolute Radio DJ will be in the town as part of his Breaking Dad tour.
Ahead of his arrival, The Standard’s Tristan Harris caught up with Christian to find out what it is all about.
IT WAS about 18 years ago when Christian first tried his hand at stand-up comedy, even before he had made it into radio.
Back then, it was an amateur stage, nothing like the crowds he has been before since the start of this tour on January 31.
The genre was always one he wanted to return to and, on the advice of fellow radio presenter and stand-up legend Frank Skinner, he booked himself some dates at the Edinburgh Festival Fringe.
When his performance was given a favourable response two years ago, he booked two more shows last year – they turned out to be sell-outs and he also took to the stage with the act in front of a 500-strong crowd the West End.
And now, following that reaction and amidst a mid-life crisis (Christian’s words not ours), he has embarked on the national tour.
As well as doing Absolute’s self-titled Christian O’connell Breakfast Show – arguably the biggest slot on the station’s schedule – Christian has also broadcast on XFM and presented Radio 5Live’s Fighting Talk.
But, he said, stand-up on this scale was unchartered territory and a challenge that offered something different from the day job.
And he added the fact several of the dates have already sold out provided some added pressure he has relished.
“I’ve been really excited about this tour, it has given me a massive lift – it’s a lot different from Edinburgh, because people are coming out to see me.”
His routine is inspired by his two daughters – Lois, eight, and Ruby, ten, – and bringing up children in the 2010s.
Through his observational comedy, he explores a variety of issues, including being a dad, parenting, navigating pet death and the trials and tribulations of being a child growing up now.
“When I was younger, dads weren’t like they are today – they didn’t do half the things I do.
“My dad was like a mythical Darth Vader figure who wasn’t really there a lot of the time and someone I feared.
“If I wasn’t behaving, my mum would always say ‘wait until your dad gets home’.
“It’s nothing like that with my kids – they’re not scared of me at all.
“The biggest threat I’ve got in my house is to turn the Wi-Fi off.”
As well as in Bromsgrove this weekend, Christian O’Connell will also be at Birmingham’s Glee Club on April 30 – a date he has added to the tour after the Bromsgrove one and others local to the Second City sold out.
Visit www.christianoconnell.com for more information on the tour and tickets.