Canadian comic Stewart Francis coming to Galashiels and Ayton as pun goes down on his stand-up career

Stewart Francis is nearing the end of the road.
Stewart Francis is nearing the end of the road.

He’s had joy, he’s had fun, he’s had seasons in the pun, including several as a panellist on BBC2’s Mock the Week, but those seasons are all gone for Canadian comedian Stewart Francis.

Francis – not to be confused with Lancashire-born children’s television presenter Stu Francis – is jacking in stand-up comedy in the hope of landing more acting roles.

He’s doing a farewell tour before he quits on-stage funny business, though, titled Into the Punset, and it’s coming to Galashiels Volunteer Hall on Saturday, September 28.

Tickets to see Francis at the St John Street hall cost £23.50. For details, go to www.liveborders.org.uk/book/whats-on/stewart-francis-into-the-punset

The Toronto-born 60-year-old, once a regular on BBC One’s Live at the Apollo and Channel 4’s 8 Out of 10 Cats, also has a few acting roles on his CV – in the Canadian sitcom An America in Canada and legal drama Kevin Hill in the middle of last decade and BBC One’s Lee mack-led sitcom Not Going Out in 2007, for starters – and now wants to land more.

“For me, it’s a happy conclusion as I’ve left the best till last,” he said.

“I’m thrilled to bits with what I have, and it’s nice to go out on a high, like when the athlete that throws the winning touchdown in the Super Bowl then retires.

“Even if I did want to come back, I wouldn’t do it. I’d get a job doing what I needed to do, because I try to be a man of my word. Sadly, we live in a world where there’s all this cynicism and some people might believe that it’s just a publicity thing. It’s not. This is my last tour.

“I’m going to step away from comedy and focus on acting, which is another passion.

“When you’re a comedian, casting directors can be a bit lazy and think ‘well he’s just a comedian’, but I’m not.

“I think I have some significant acting chops, and I want to prove that to myself and to the world, but when you’re wearing both hats as a comedian and an actor, you can be taken less seriously, so I want there to be a real separation.

“This tour is a love letter to the UK and Ireland, thanking them for a wonderful chapter in my comedy career.

“It’s not a sad moment for me – it’s just all about new challenges and new horizons.”

Olly Robertson, area manager at event organiser Live Borders, added: “As a charity, Live Borders aims to make lives in the Scottish Borders healthier, happier and stronger, and this final show from Stewart Francis will certainly make audiences happier.

“We’re looking forward to seeing the Mock the Week star perform live at Galashiels Volunteer Hall, fresh from his set of hilarious Edinburgh Festival fringe shows.”

Francis can also be seen at Hemelvaart Bier Cafe in Ayton in Berwickshire on Wednesday, September 25.

Tickets to see him at the High Street venue cost £21.50. For further details, go to www.hemelvaart.co.uk/box-office