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Lee Mack, Royal Concert Hall

March 2010

It took him a good hour to get the hang of the accent. Initially, as with Steve Coogan’s attempt in Saxondale, it had too much of a Brummie twang.
Eventually, thanks to a Bilborough College student mumbling a question during the encore, he nailed the “Not-num” annunciation.
It was thing sort of exchange that Lee Mack does best. When he’s relying on the written material, he’s good but not great. When bantering with Jo or Anita or Julie or any of the audience within his sight, he’s as good as anyone.
Subject matter is the usual; family and kids, computers and technology, telly and porn.
He mocks the beige three piece he’s wearing: “I thought it was a bit Al Pacino. Instead I look like an unsuccessful regional snooker player.”
It’s hard to gauge how well he thinks it’s going as often he’ll pick up on gags that he thinks half us don’t get. Nectar (points) versus nectar (honey), for example.
The tour is more than 100 dates until November, when a fourth series of Not Going Out will be screened (huge cheer), although Mack is still in the process of writing it.
This was the first of three dates he’ll be doing at the Royal Concert Hall, so if you’ve booked for his return in May or November, beware spoilers coming up...
The opening is a magic show skit, pulling a youngster from the audience, locking him in a box and sending him away in to the wings. Cut the music: “I said no kids!” he bellows.
Better still when the lad, a 15-year-old (not a stooge as one first assumed), returns to his seat and Mack asks his name. It’s Adam. Quick as flash he says: “Were you the first in tonight?”
I think half of us got it.
He calls an IT helpline. Have you tried disabling cookies? they say. Well, I pulled the legs off a gingerbread man once. We all got that.
Stupid, sweary, old school - Lee Mack is among Britain’s best.

Lee Mack returns to the Royal Concert Hall on May 22 and November 26. Tickets are £20.50, 0115 989 5555,

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