DAVE Spikey heads to Wirral next month with a show celebrating more than 30 years in comedy.

The acclaimed funnyman and presenter, whose many TV roles include that of cabaret star Jerry St Clair in hit Channel Four comedy Phoenix Nights, is at the Floral Pavilion in New Brighton on January 24 as part of his Juggling on a motorbike tour.

It charts his journey from childhood through to his time as chief biomedical scientist and onto life as one of the country's best-loved comedy performers and writer.

Asked how the show was going so far Dave told the Globe in a recent interview: "I'm up to five balls now."

He continued: "My first gig was in a talent show 30 years ago, but I spent many years from then juggling my day job with that of trying to make people laugh, until finally taking the decision to comedy as a full-time career.

"So I thought it would be nice to get back on the road and celebrate the last 30 years with this tour."

He continued: "It promises something old, something new, nothing borrowed, nothing blue as I tell the story of my thirty year journey in comedy from my first gig in 1987 to this current show.

"I also a look at the years before – my formative years, so there are stories of my working class childhood, where I 'needed to pull my socks up' in order to do better and was told not to be impatient because 'a watched kettle never boils'. It does, I tried it."

Dave had worked in the NHS for 19 years as chief Biomedical Scientist at The Royal Bolton Hospital when in 1987 someone uttered the immortal words "You're really funny, you should be a comedian".

A few months later he entered, and was crowned winner, of the national talent show Stairway to the Stars.

Among the judges was comedian and one-time host of the Generation Game Larry Grayson.

He told Dave that the was a close run thing on the night but what clinched the award was his routine about a juggler on a motorbike.

After winning the competition, Dave juggled his day job with a stand-up career. On Friday, October 13 2000, Dave switched off his microscope for the last time to take up laughter-making full-time.

He has also been a regular on the stand-up comedy circuit, was team captain on Channel Four quiz show Eight out of ten cats, presented the iconic series Bullseye, wrote and appeared in ITV comedy Dead Man Weds, The Royal Variety Show, and appeared on Parkinson.

Looking back on his career, he said: "I'd worked for 32 years as a biomedical scientist and opting to give it all up for comedy was a big decision. But, thankfully, it has paid off so far and the time has flown by.

"I'm someone who takes one day at a time and just want to do well.

"I came from a working-class background and mum and dad had missed the boat educationally and wanted me to do well.

"My late dad was a self-employed painter and decorator by trade - No job too small – Estimates free.

"He missed the boat academically - had no academic qualifications - and yet he was and still is the most well-read and knowledgeable bloke I’ve ever met.

"Passing the 11-plus and going to Grammar school opened up a lot of opportunities for me.

"It was also where I met my great friend Derek Rigby who was according to my Grandma was ‘daft as a brush’ – which he was."

On comedy influences, he said: "I’ve had many, one of the biggest was my grandmother, who I used to spend a lot of time with as my parents were out working. She was a natural comedian.

"I've always been a huge fan of stand-up and was a massive fan of Billy Connolly.

"When I was younger I'd sit with my dad and listen to comedy shows such as Round the Horne, The Navy Lark and The Goons on the radio and we later fell off our chairs in hysterics while watching Phil Silvers or Morecambe and Wise.

"I grew up surrounded by laughs and competing daily with my dad as to who could come up with the funniest remark.

"When I first started out in comedy I was in a double act; in fact we were a bit Hale & Pace before Hale & Pace, did the club circuit, met Peter Kay and the rest is history.

"I have been called a comedy veteran, which is quite funny."

Tickets for the show at the Floral Pavilion on January 24, which starts at 7.30pm, are from the box office on 0151 666 0000 or www.floralpavilion.com.