I was genuinely looking forward to seeing Paddy live. My affection born out of a love of his wingman roles in Max and Paddy’s Road to Nowhere, Phoenix Nights and most recently with Keith Lemon (please see the Batman vs. Bane skit).

I love comedy that is heartfelt, that has old school charm with a hint of subversion reflecting our shared anxieties, obsessions and the absurdities of the age we are in.

I was surrounded by an audience with an eclectic age range – reflecting Paddy’s appeal as the front of ITV’s Take Me Out and role in Corrie. The great thing about comedy is its broad spectrum but that does mean we all take our seats with very different expectations.

This tour naturally drew on 2 years of proud fatherhood. What I got was less 40 something Dad musings (of which I am one) and more Inbetweener. There was much laughter around me and I couldn’t help but root for Paddy braving the stage alone. He is at his best when literally in the stalls bantering with the audience and getting us to participate in a therapy session of pet hates – the two book ends to the show.

Paddy is our inappropriate mate or brother whose banter and consistent stepovers have worn the line away in places. But, however crude it gets somehow you forgive him for it, because underneath it there’s warmth and charm and you suspect a lot of fun to be had over a drink. It’s frustrating as an admirer.

The Daddy element of the first half focused on the downside of making babies and debunking the joy of children – hence poo, wee and pump gags abounded and were clearly enjoyed. My companion, a fan of the trump, loved it (but as a friend reminded me no one does faeces better than Eddie Murphy in RAW – sorry Paddy).

There was slight unease where tales of anal sex and masturbation were interspersed, I guess the double edge of comedy for all of us. I met six senior citizens exiting at the half way point, apologising to the usher, as there was only so much filth they could take ( they clearly were not fans of the walnut whip gag). This was a shame as the second half had its moments, Paddy paying tribute to the 80s of my boyhood; ZX Spectrums, Mr Stretch, Frosty makers and no Facebook. There is a TV show right there. I wish there had been more of this.

Sometimes there just needs to be a happier marriage between a very likeable guy and the material. The Lyric Theatre is a warm hug of a venue and Paddy was embraced. It is undeniable that he is engaging and fun just like the bright wooden alpha blocks on stage. I just wanted less Muck and more Guinness.

Reviewed: 24th February 2016

Reviewer: Shridhar Phalke