In 2006, John Bishop was working as a sales director for a pharmaceutical company. Six years later, in late 2012, he will be heading out on a national arena tour with a combined audience of approaching 200,000 punters.
And he wasn't even going to be a comedian. It was only during a messy (and ultimately reconciled) relationship break-up when, figuring he couldn't feel any lower, the Scouser decided to seek catharsis at an open mic night in Manchester. His acute mind sharpened further by his personal circumstances, Bishop began putting his natural inclination to, in his words, 'mess about', to good use and eventually gave up the company car and the keys to the executive washroom to focus on comedy full time.
To say it has been a success would be something of an understatement. After working the clubs, he earned a slot warming up for the BBC's 'Jonathan Ross Show' (a show he would eventually appear on as a guest) and, with an everyman style grounded in his own experiences, was soon a frequent and popular contributor to programmes like '8 Out of 10 Cats' and 'Mock the Week'.
He's had his own BBC1 show, 'John Bishop's Britain', appeared in E4 drama 'Skins' and the Ken Loach movie 'Route Irish', and has driven the 'Top Gear' Reasonably Priced Car around the programme's circuit faster than anyone except Rowan Atkinson. But even Rowan hasn't played The O2 Arena.
John Bishop's UK arena tour begins with two nights at the Cardiff International Arena on 21st and 22nd September 2012, followed by huge dates in Manchester, Liverpool, Glasgow, Birmingham, Nottingham, Newcastle, London (The O2), Sheffield and Aberdeen, before the final date at the Belfast Odyssey Arena on 2nd November 2012. Note that some venues have more than one date and more may yet be added.
We will have tickets for all gigs when they go on sale at 9AM on Friday 4th November 2011, priced £30.