Geordie comedian Ross Noble arranged an impromptu jamboree at the Bandstand on Monday.
The stand-up was in Whitby filming an episode of his new series, Ross Noble’s Freewheeling, which will air on the digital television channel Dave later this year.
The episode centred around cyclist James Sullivan (40) who was completing a cross-country bicycle ride. He had contacted Ross through the comedian’s Twitter account, and he hosted a welcome party for the cyclists at Whitby’s Bandstand.
However the comedian, famed for his whacky improvised routines, soon got distracted, treating pupils on board a tour bus to some untruths about the town and organising a talent show.
Ross explained: “You just have to let the show happen, see what becomes of it.”
For the Newcastle-born comedian, Whitby brought back childhood memories as family holidays were spent in the town. He explained: “We used to come down here a lot when we were kids. I’ve actually sailed in to Whitby, my Dad used to be into sailing, so I have entered by sea and left by sea.”
As for his favourite part of the town, Ross said: “I like the stairlift that goes up to the Abbey. Oh it hasn’t been built yet? Well, you know how some places get a monorail? Well you should get a chairlift that goes up to the top.”
However, as a comedian television presenter, Ross said he had some other plans for his latest visit to the town: “I’m definitely going to try and find some Goths tomorrow. I really want to get a lot of goths together and try to take them to a spray tanning place.”
James Sullivan brought Ross to Whitby with his Tweet informing Ross of the 160-mile charity bicycle ride he was completing from Seascale in Cumbria, finishing in Whitby .
James explained: “I follow him on Twitter and he said ‘What are people doing on Monday?’ I got in touch, so here we are. It was unbelievable when he showed up, it was surreal. It spurred us on a bit, it was great.”
Ross surprised the cyclists with what he described as a “Tour de France-style pit stop” along their route. He explained: “I got a portable BBQ from a service station, lit it, and got some burgers. But I didn’t have any utensils so I had to use bananas. So there was the glorious sight of James eating a burger spiked on a banana.”
At the welcome party Ross presented James with prizes donated by the Whitby Gazette including a snooker trophy, a rubber duckie, and a copy of Loose Women Sherrie Hewison’s autobiography, which had been lying around the office.
The comedian then hosted the very first ‘Ross Noble’s Outdoor Jamboree’, featuring a wide variety of Whitby-based talent and which will be featured on the comedy show. Some were joke performances, such as Alan the Tapdancer, Steve the Limping Shakespeare or Kev the Hillbilly Voodoo Cowboy.
Alan - real surname Pryce - from Staffordshire, said: “I just asked him ‘What’s the show like and they started filming. I’m not quite sure how I got involved.”
One of the genuine musicians who performed was bar tender Mackie (19), who said: “It was pretty intense, definitely the most televised gig I have ever done and the best for musical furtherisation.”
The six-part Ross Noble’s Freewheeling series will be shown on Dave in the autumn.