IT was always going to be comedy for Alun Cochrane.

“I have never done a job that would be a potential career,” he says.

“I know comics who have been teachers, accountants, builders etc, then they have discovered comedy. Whenever I have done real work, I knew it was temporary.”

Alun Cochrane’s breakthrough came in 2004 when his first Edinburgh Fringe show was nominated for best newcomer at the Perrier Awards.

Since then he has complemented his stand-up work with regular television appearances.

He has also notched up various radio credits and continues to co-present the award-winning Frank Skinner Show on Absolute Radio each Saturday morning.

Currently touring his Alunish Cochranish show, he will become the latest comedian to appear at The Scarth Hall, Staindrop, courtesy of Teesdale's Funny Way To Be Comedy Club.

“So far, the tour has been good fun. There have been some odd moments – but it’s stand-up, so there will always be the odd moment now and again. The show is the one I did at Edinburgh last year. I have just added to it. It’s longer and funnier – not that it was rubbish in Edinburgh,” he laughs.

“I certainly add in and take bits away. There is a process of keeping it fresh.”

Performing at a smaller venue, such as Staindrop, poses different challenges to bigger stages.

“The main thing in the bigger rooms is that you end up being a bit ‘bigger’.”

Enterprise House

So one step on a small stage becomes three or five steps in a larger theatre, he explains.

“That’s why arena comics look like they are jumping around like mad things. In a 100 seater, you can see the whites of the audience’s eyes.”

The Manchester-based performer has made his name as a laid-back laconic storyteller.

This latest show, he says, promises fewer stories, more discussion, observational stuff and “a surprising amount of history references”, he says.

“And there are just some jokes with punchlines.”

Despite having a number of strings to his bow, he says stand-up continues to be the “bedrock” of what he does.

“Four, five or six nights a week, I am a live, stand-up comic. The other stuff comes from that.”

Funny Way To Be’s Peter Dixon said it was a delight to welcome Alun Cochrane back to the dale.

“Although it’s been over five years since Alun last performed in Teesdale, he has been to Barnard Castle on three occasions and never failed to deliver an extremely funny show,” he said.

Alun Cochrane will be hoping to continue raising the laughs at the Scarth Hall, Staindrop on Sunday, March 11. Door and bar open at 7pm with the show starting at 8pm. Tickets are £12.50 and available from funnywaytobe .com and Staindrop Post Office. The show is open to those aged 16 and older.