Is Dave Gorman just a normal man with time on his hands?

Dave Gorman

Dave Gorman

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Dave Gorman is not a man who underestimates the intelligence and sophistication of his audience – even when it comes to his tour names.

“Powerpoint Presentation” is perhaps not the first title which most comedians might consider when they plan their next series of performances.

But Dave is confident that people will be more attracted to his show than something called “Happy Happy Fun Fun with a picture of you smilling like an idiot”, although, to be polite, he acknowledges that some people might enjoy that.

He says his show isn’t a parody, but more like “a double act” between him and the projector.

“It doesn’t look like a business presentation,” he says. “It allows me to get into things in a bit more detail. Details are where a lot of comedy is.

“A lot of stand-up is confirming things we already know for ourselves. Using Powerpoint, I can show you something you haven’t seen before in three second bits and it doesn’t matter if you don’t know things in advance.

“It broadens the amount of things I can talk about.”

He must be doing something right, because his 2012 dates are an extension of a sell-out run in Edinburgh last year followed by a national tour. But he admits to breaking a few of the rules.

“A person I met once who makes Powerpoint presentations for a living told me you shouldn’t use more than 30 slides - 20 slides was pushing it, and 30 meant you would definitely lose the audience,” he said.

“I was just laughing because I use 800 slides.”

Known for his inquisitive mind, Dave has had a lot of success in the past with unusual shows. He really made his mark with Are You Dave Gorman when, in a drunken bet with a friend, he decided to track down 54 other people called Dave Gorman, “one for every card in a pack, including the jokers”.

The trip took him around the world and resulted in a six-part BBC2 series which relied heavily, and to great effect, on graphs and other visual aids to track his progress. A later project, the Googlewhack Adventure, saw him again jetting off in a bid to find people whose websites contained two-word phrases which were not found on any other sites.

Between those two, he conducted an astrology experiment, using his twin brother as a control, to see whether following your horoscope could change your life for the better.

These are not the actions of a normal man, you might think – but Dave argues anyone in his position would do the same.

“I think there’s a thing where most people in the world are curious,” he says.

“That’s a natural state of being. I think what I’m lucky with is I’ve more time to get into those things than other people.

“If I’m having a conversation with someone over dinner about a weird, curious fact, I go home and the next day I keep thinking about it, whereas he has to go to work.”

The reality is that Dave has carved himself a career out of thinking about unusual things and then taking them to their furthest possible conclusion, in order to have things to talk or write about.

But, as well as stand-up and books based on his experiences, Dave has done a lot of work in television and radio, both writing and in front of the camera. He presented Genius on Radio 4, which later transferred to BBC2 for two series, and in the last few years has held a regular Sunday slot on Absolute Radio.

So what’s next on his schedule once the tour ends in early July?

“I don’t know. But I never know. I like not knowing,” he admits. “I like finding out what’s round the corner rather than knowing. I’ll find something to do.

“I feel like everyone else is working on a weird five-year plan. I can’t. What becomes the meat and drink of what I write about, talk about, whatever, is stuff that happens to me.”

Dave Gorman’s Powerpoint Presentation is at Harrogate’s Royal Hall on Wednesday, June 13. For tickets, visit www.harrogatetheatre.co.uk or call 01423 502116.