Stephen Merchant's debut stand-up tour - London warm-ups on sale Friday 3rd June 2011
Stephen Merchant is 'the lanky one' (his words) from the Gervais-Merchant-Pilkington triumvirate behind Sky One's recent hit show, An Idiot Abroad (and its sequel).
And, although Merchant started out as a stand-up (a finalist in the 1998 Daily Telegraph New Comedy Awards), he is undoubtedly best known for his creative collaboration with Ricky Gervais - a partnership that has delivered such landmark gems as The Office and Extras, as well as the US version of The Office.
It might be odd to think of Stephen Merchant without Gervais beside him, giggling, swearing and clad in black, but the big man is going out on his own as a stand-up once more. After a handful of one-off shows over the last year or so, Merchant will be embarking on his first ever stand-up tour - titled 'Hello Ladies' - in September 2011.
It's unclear exactly why Merchant is motivated to go on a solo tour. He has a full bank account thanks to his skills and successes as a writer, and a full mantelpiece as a result of winning (often with Gervais) numerous BAFTAs, British Comedy Awards, Golden Globes and an Emmy.
The most likely reason Merchant is going on tour is that he seems to really want to. Whether he's doing so in order to prove he can do it without Gervais (which he surely can) or just as his next project, Stephen Merchant is likely to take great care in writing and producing Hello Ladies. All the indications are that it will be very funny.
The new show will get its first outing in two warm-up gigs recently announced for August 2011, in the weeks before the tour 'proper'.
Stephen Merchant will play the Arts Depot in London on 14th and 28th August; tickets are available from 9AM on 3rd June, starting at £12. The show is strictly for those aged 16 and over.