You gotta love Michael McIntyre

THESE days Michael McIntyre is the highest-grossing comedian in the world – his last tour took £21 million, which explains the £2.5m six-bedroom house in Wiltshire he forked out for last year, and the enviable car collection sitting in his driveway, said to include a £150,000 Ferrari California, a top of the range Jaguar, a BMW X5 and a Porsche Cayenne.
It’s a far cry from his early days on the comedy circuit when he was £40,000 in debt and toiling to get gigs.
The baby-faced 39-year-old eventually got his big break on the Royal Variety Show in 2006 – and he’s never looked back.
But while the former Britain’s Got Talent judge is adored by millions, he has his fair share of detractors, many of them his fellow comedians, who became hostile to him when his career went stratospheric.
Granted, he’s never been the edgiest of stand-ups, but McIntyre’s only real “crime”, as far as this scribe can see, is being incredibly successful and irredeemably middle class. Whether you find him funny or not is purely a matter of taste.
He’s often accused of being unoriginal but McIntyre insists his brand of observational, anecdotal stand-up is a lot harder to get right than it looks.
“With regard to what I do… what I’d like to say to these people is, if it’s so easy, then why don’t you do it?”

“Why do the people

not interested matter?”

In an interview with GQ last year, the London-born comic said he doesn’t really understand why he’s often described as something of a Marmite-man.
“It’s just a weird one,” he said. “There’s something about comedy. Sometimes you read this thing with me in the press, where it says that I split people. That people either love me or hate me. That I’m reviled or revered. And I think, ‘I’m sorry, it’s not true. Let’s get back to reality’.”
The reality, according to McIntyre, is that those who can’t stand him are irrelevant, as they don’t go to his gigs anyway.
“I’m only writing the jokes for the people who want to hear them. Why do the people not interested matter?”
Back in the Capital on Friday, 17 July for a two-night stint at The Playhouse, he will be road-testing brand new material prior to his 2015 UK arena tour, Happy & Glorious.
Granted, you’d have to be a real fan to fork out £33.90 to see him try out unfinished jokes, but it’s sure to be a bigger draw than McIntyre’s first Edinburgh gig.
“It was for one person. On a two-for-one deal. One guy who couldn’t even get someone else to go with him for free…”
Changed days, indeed.
Michael McIntyre – Warm Up, Edinburgh Playhouse, Greenside Place, Fri 17 July; Sat 18 July, 8pm, £33.90

words: Gary Flockhart