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A cheeky monkey

The Love Monkey returns to Newcastle on Thursday. Entertainment Editor Gordon Barr explains all.

The Love Monkey returns to Newcastle on Thursday. Entertainment Editor Gordon Barr explains all.

Talking to comedian Joe Pasquale is like getting caught up in a mini discussion-whirlwind.

He hardly draws breath as he races through our questions and answers session. If you thought he was manic on I'm A Celebrity Get Me Out Of Here (on which he was crowned King of the Jungle), try interviewing him.

We pack in about as much as one would in a 15 minute conversation in little more than five minutes - so if you have tickets for his Return of the Love Monkey show at the Journal Tyne Theatre, on Thursday, expect it to be fast-paced.

"I change the show every year. It's a two-hour comedy show of escapism, good clean fun," Joe says in his instantly-recognisable high-pitched voice.

"It's a family show ideal for any age. I change it as I get bored doing the same stuff.

"Return of the Love Monkey is based on the story of when I was seven and went on holiday, camping for the first time and I took a little toy monkey with me. The monkey is in the show. The original one."

Joe is known for his clean sense of humour. "It's not that I'm against that blue stuff. I've always done stuff I wanted my kids to come and see. I wouldn't want to say to them it is a bit rude and you cannot come. I just maintain something I can take my family to really."

The show is forever evolving, he explains: "I start trying stuff out now and put it aside for next year. It is an evolving show. I try something and keep it in if it works. About 60% we do all the time and the rest is just see what happens with the audience.

"There's quite a lot of audience participation. Just go with what happens on the night. I've got to have fun first, if everyone else enjoys it, great. I can't expect anyone else to laugh if I don't find it fun either."

The entertainer is looking forward to taking the tour north. "Generally, northern audiences are a lot better than southern audiences. I'm a southern comic but for some reason northern people know how to enjoy themselves more."

As for his time in I'm A Celebrity, he is first to admit the change it had in his life.

"I'm A Celebrity never changed anything on my live work as I've always toured, always done business on the live circuit. But it did change it for me televisually.

"I did the Audience With, The Price Is Right, I'm doing a children's series called Frankenstein's Cat for the BBC, I've done a couple of movies - Garfield 2 and Dead Long Enough - so it certainly opened doors.

"I gave Celebrity a lot of thought first and said no a couple of times. But then thought `what have I got to lose other than my dignity?"

NThe Return of the Love Monkey is at Newcastle's Tyne Theatre, on Thursday.

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