folk singer, comedian, writer and broadcaster Mike Harding steps into the spotlight at Theatre Royal Wakefield next week after a 15-year performing hiatus.
Mike stops off at the theatre on Saturday November 19 as part of a 20-date UK tour called Me, A Guitar and Some Daft Stuff.
He’s dedicated the last 15 years to writing, broadcasting, fell walking and fly-fishing.
Mike said: “I don’t know why I stopped touring really, it just seems that other things took over.
“I’d started going to the Himalayas for long periods of time trekking and climbing, and then seemed to get caught up in writing books about my travels.
“Writing became a huge part of my life, as I moved on to write books on church architecture and other subjects. The guitar and the stories just took a back seat.”
Mike, 67, began his music career back in the 60s, playing folk clubs to pay his way through an education degree, eventually giving up the idea of teaching for performing.
Eventually he became as well known for his comedic stories as much as his music, and in 1975 hit mainstream popularity with the song The Rochdale Cowboy.
Mike’s career has encompassed television and radio appearances, including several series for the BBC, concert tours, writing, including plays, poetry, short stories and travel books, and photography.
He is also a keen outdoorsman and served a three-year presidency of The Ramblers, and remains a lifetime vice-president.
Mike is in constant demand to speak on environmental and ecological issues and has been elected a Fellow of the Royal Geographical Society.
Mike has presented his weekly Radio 2 folk music show since 1999, and since 2000 has presented the annual BBC Radio 2 Folk Awards.
His latest tour features an evening of songs, daft stories and monologues from the man once dubbed ‘the grandfather of alternative comedy’.
With a couple of guitars and more than 40 years of material to draw on, Mike will lead you into his own comic world, with stories and stongs that have had audicences collapsing with laughter around the world.
The performance at Theatre Royal Wakefield is being filmed for a 90-minute DVD, which will be available in time for Christmas.
Included in the performance will be some of Mike’s all-time greats, such as Uncle Joe’s Mint Balls, My Brudda Sylveste, Manuel, Rosy-Cheeked Girls and The Ballad of Cowheel Lou.
Tickets for Mike Harding cost £14.50, £16 and £17.50, available from www.theatreroyalwakefield.co.uk or the box office on 01924 211311.