ALAN Davies returned to his roots with a visit to Blackburn as part of his first stand-up show since 1999.

The comedy world has changed dramatically in that time with stand-up becoming a mainstay of prime time TV viewing and huge arena shows more and more common.

Wisely, Davies hasn’t tried to change too. The Madonna-style microphone apart, this was in many ways an old-fashioned show - in a good sense.

The star of QI and Jonathan Creek ambled on stage looking a little apprehensive but soon engaged with audience, learning more about the traditional Blackburn Rovers v Burnley rivalry in the process.

The show, entitled Life is Pain, is at time based on highly-personal experiences but the genial Davies pulled it off with aplomb. It’s not an uproarious, rollicking show that has waves of laughter drowning out the next punchline, but that’s not Davies’s style.

It’s more like listening to your funny mate down the pub.

At times he did let his inner Meldrew come to the fore with a fine rant at Facebook (though slightly ironic, given he’s an inveterate Tweeter) and the perils of being a first-time parent.

The show was also tinged with nostalgic observations which added to the warm feeling in the room.

It wasn’t a sell-out by any means - I suspect a misjudged £25 ticket price may have had a lot to do with it.

But for those who went it was like having an old friend dropping in.