Dave Spikey

Victoria Theatre, Halifax

We don't always take Lancashire folk to our hearts in Yorkshire.

But we certainly made an exception in Calderdale this weekend.

Mind you, the man in question, stand-up comic (doctor) Dave Spikey, is becoming a bit of a national treasure.

If you follow the Bolton comic's train of thought that laughter is the best medicine (that's the name of his current tour) then he must be saving the ailing NHS thousands of pounds.

Dave, best known as co-writer and star of TV's Phoenix Nights, is in the business of making people laugh and feel a whole heap better, and he hits the nail on the head every time.

He possesses that priceless and rare gift of making ordinary and mundane things in life seem side-splittingly funny.

Not only has he got an eye for detail but, like his name, his stories are sharp and piercing. He touches on his days working in the NHS, binge drinking, fat people, his school friend with a stammer and classic song lyrics that are nonsense.

Yet while his humour is observational and dished out in a relaxed, laid-back way (his timing and delivery are exceptional), it is also innocent and gentle, giving him mass appeal. Hence, an audience ranging from teenagers to pensioners.

Dave started his show with the words "Saturday night in Halifax, life doesn't get much better". Two hours later the relaxed audience left muttering something very similar. And did I catch rib-tickling remedy and medicinal in there somewhere?

Cracking night.