You may recognise Ross Markham Noble – large, hairy, north eastern, talks a lot – from TV shows such as Have I Got News For You, QI, and Freewheeling (on Dave, so probably not on that one).

You won’t recognise him from Radio 4 panel games I’m Sorry I Haven’t A Clue, Just A Minute and Ross Noble Goes Global, but you will know his voice, pet.

His fields of expertise are listed as improvisational, surreal, physical and observational comedy and aficionados will know anything can happen at a Ross Noble gig – and usually does.

The Geordie comic is not best known for structuring his performances as he seemingly just randomly brain dumps his comedy genius across audiences.

However, there must a lot of work going on behind the scenes to appear this disorganised. You’d have to be a comedy lunatic to plan nothing, surely?

Tonight was, obviously, no exception with this Humournoid tour – yet another to have been covidly rearranged from last year – still leading the way in freeform humour.

Noble feeds off his audience and, while the venue was not packed to the rafters, there was plenty of material for him to utilise, reinforcing the ‘never sit too near the front at a comedy gig’ adage.

Comedy gold was generated when he discovered one ‘victim’ was a hand therapist, others had odd tattoos and two people with unusual laughs, one always a second late, provided repeat material, as did anyone entering or leaving the auditorium – “the show’s been delayed two years and you’re still late!”

It was all done in a gentle, not cruel way. Noble may eff and jeff a little but he’s a warm-hearted soul at heart, remaining good natured despite a fairly unforthcoming crowd at the start and a ropey sound on a set apparently inspired by Squid Game and featuring a giant head split in two and attached by strings of lights. No, me neither.

The first half rampaged through utter randomness – from a single piece of confetti floating down and prompting a routine about the worst ever Coldplay tribute band to the thought of a tiny exercise bike used in treatment by the aforementioned hand therapist.

Noble careered through mentions of an unlikely Steve Davis tattoo (an image that can never be forgotten), wokeness, the decline of goosing, Nicholas Witchell describing ‘wonderful scenes’ over terrible TV pictures, ITV afternoon ‘death’ adverts and, of course, Newcastle Utd.

He spoke of donkeys with asthma, seagulls stealing chips, his wife putting up with him during lockdown, a dinner out with his tour manager – neither realising it was Valentine’s Day – and being unable to stop doing Tommy Cooper impressions. Such is Noble’s physicality you wonder that he is not thinner.

He finished with a brilliant piece about a show for deaf people in Australia at which he wound up the signer with unlikely phrases – and developed this into a brilliant 10-minute routine done in near silence.

The encore seemed almost like regular observational stand-up as he spoke of his time on Celebrity Apprentice Australia last year, how he couldn’t get himself voted off, his disdain for fellow contestants, his unprintable nickname for Lord Sugar and an offer to display more of himself than was absolutely necessary.

All hilarious stuff – what he didn’t say was that he raised $100,000 for the Aussie Red Cross.