DAVE Spikey is in reflective mood with his new show which comes to King George's Hall, Blackburn, on Thursday.

For Juggling on a Motorbike is a look back at his 30 year career as a comedian.

The show takes its title from a routine which set Dave on the comedy ladder.

"I reached the final of a talent show called Stairway to the Stars which was held in Torquay," said the Chorley-born comic. "The judges were Dora Bryan, Larry Grayson, Buster Merryfield from Only Fools and Horses and Nina Myskow, who at the time was the dragon from New Faces.

"And somehow I won the show – I won £1,000 which was a lot of money back then.

"After the show Larry Grayson said I'd got a lot of potential and that although it was very tight in the final, the thing that won it for me was a routine about juggling on a motorbike which he said was fantastic.

"So that's why I've called the tour Juggling on a Motorbike. I do the routine to close the show but I also wonder what would have happened if I hadn't have done it."

Unlike today where people can be catapulted to stardom – "I hate all that celebrity nonsense," said Dave – it would be another 13 years before Dave gave up his job at Bolton Hospital - by then he had become head of biomedical science - to turn to comedy full time.

"I don't like to rush into things," he laughed.

"But after winning the talent contest, that's when I went back and learned how to be a comedian, that's when I served my apprenticeship if you like.

"I'd be going backwards and forwards to London after work, sometimes just to do an open spot on a Wednesday night in a pub in Camden and the promoter didn't even bother to turn up to watch. My wife would say 'what are you doing?' And I couldn't answer that

"But there were enough good gigs to outweigh the bad ones and then things started happening in Manchester with venues like the Buzz Club so that made it easier."

Having decided to become a 'full-time' comedian Dave went straight into writing what would become Phoenix Nights, one of the most popular comedy series ever.

"I got a lot of my material for the Phoenix Club from my early days," he said. "When I came back from winning in Torquay there weren't such things as comedy clubs, it would be back to the working men's clubs."

Because the new show has a semi-autobiographical theme to it, Dave is finding that audiences are reacting to it is a different way to his previous tours.

"You need the audience to connect with you and jump on board," he said. "You want the audience to have the confidence to wait with you and get to the big payoff at the end - that's a lovely feeling when that happens.

"It's a great feeling to know that an audience has laughed really hard at something in the middle of a story and in the back of your mind you're thinking, 'just wait 'til you get to the punchline then'.

"I still get the hairs on the back of the neck standing up when it's going really well because I know that I've got the ammunition to build a show to a climax. It's come with years of work. I've never been madly ambitious, I just wanted to get better and better."

Dave Spikey, King George's Hall, Blackburn, Thursday, October 26. Details from 0844 847 1664 or www.kinggeorgeshall.com