THERE is nothing like a ‘big birthday’ to make you realise that life is changing.

Justin Moorhouse turns 50 next year and 2020 also marks two decades since the stand-up comic made his debut on the comedy circuit at the Frog and Bucket.

It has given him pause for thought.

He told Weekend: “In my head I’m in my late 20s. I don’t feel or act any differently and my social life and friends are exactly the same.

“I still like the same things and go to gigs. I went to a gig recently with my son who’s 22 and I did get the sense people were looking at me thinking: ‘Who’s brought their dad?’”

The nearest thing that Justin has to a midlife crisis is trying to be more productive.

He added: “My big thing now is not to waste any time. I think a day wasted is a real shame.

“Sitting in your pants watching TV all day, if that’s what you’ve chose to do, isn’t a day wasted – you’ve enjoyed that box set and relaxed. That’s fine.

“But if I’ve got things to do and I put Homes Under The Hammer on that’s a day wasted.

Knutsford Guardian:

“My thing now is only switching the TV on if there’s something I particularly want to watch. I’m making sure I read and write every day and do some exercise.

“I try and build everything into a day and maybe that is my version of a midlife crisis but I think it’s a healthy one. It’s better than booze and drugs and young women.”

This reflection on Justin’s life was brought on by The Beano of all things.

When his daughter turned 13 she asked for her subscription to the comic to be cancelled which caused him to spiral into uncertainty.

Justin, who played Young Kenny in Phoenix Nights, said: “The show is about my kids growing up and the difference between my childhood and their childhood and the uncertainty of everything.

“The kids are getting older and I need to change but I’m not sure whether that’s the right thing or not.

“The jumping off point of the show is that we had to cancel The Beano which is the weirdest thing I’ve ever had to do really.

“You say it out loud and you’re basically saying my daughter’s childhood is over.

“I’m making it sound like a therapy session. Most of the time I am moaning about the kids so I suppose the show is therapy for me. I can get it off my chest.”

Justin’s son, meanwhile, is 22 so his Beano days are long gone.

He added: “It’s like having a bloke in my house who looks like me – with potential.

“It’s like an episode of Bullseye. Look what you could have been – a taller, slimmer, better looking version of me who goes out and has fun.”

With Justin’s latest show also being about uncertainty you can inevitably expect a bit of Brexit in there too.

The 48-year-old said: “It’s my uncertainty as a parent and the next stage of my life but also the very uncertain world we find ourselves in.

“It might all change tomorrow but at the moment it’s this constant state of flux that you either fear or embrace.

“I don’t mind saying out loud that I was a Remainer but it’s kind of thrilling the ride at the moment.

“It’s not nice, it’s not pleasant but it’s not boring. The other thing is that everyone’s got an opinion on it. There are very few things that you can talk about that affect everybody but everyone has got something to say.

“I have a bit of fun with it but it’s not a political show. My thing is why did they ask us?

“They’ve never asked us anything before but suddenly they’ve got the biggest question for the country and they ask us.

“What do we know? I’m a comedian. What do I know? It’s bizarre.”

What Justin’s show does do is at least give people the chance to laugh in the face of all the chaos.

He added: “My job is to try and make people laugh and take their minds off the weirdness that is in the world.

“Comedy always does well in times of stress and strife. It’s probably only at someone’s death bed that you don’t want a comedian.

“You go to a funeral and people are laughing and joking afterwards. It is a release. It is a natural remedy.

“It releases endorphins and makes you feel a little bit better about yourself.

“I think it’s really important to remember that in life most people are good people. They can laugh and joke with each other and be part of a collective.

“That’s what happens at a great comedy night – everyone laughs along and you feel like you are in it together.”

Meanwhile, talking of birthdays and milestones, the looming year of 2020 has given Justin extra impetus to get his sitcom, Everyone Quite Likes Justin, off the ground. It is currently a BBC Radio 4 show but he wants to get it on the telly.

He said: “My ‘Holy Grail’ is to get a working-class northern class sitcom on the BBC filmed in front of an audience with big laughs.

“That’s what I really want and that’s what I continue to work on. I write a lot of stuff all the time and a lot of it doesn’t go anywhere but that’s my big aim and I’m working on a play at the moment that I’d love to put on if I could.”

Justin Moorhouse will present Northern Joker at the Pyramid on April 20 and 21. Visit or call 442345.