Two of the stars of the BBC smash-hit Scot Squad are bringing a night of laughs to Dundee — and say they’d rather do the show here than elsewhere in Scotland.
Darren Connell and wrestler Grado are sharing the limelight for a one-off comedy show at the Gardyne Theatre on June 15.
The pair have promised a night where “anything can happen” — and say the audiences in Dundee are some of the best they’ve seen.
It’s the second visit to the Gardyne in just a few months for Darren, who appeared in a month-long panto run of Sleeping Beauty last year, alongside Scot Squad co-star Karen Bartke.
“I’m absolutely buzzing for it,” said Darren, best known for playing dimwit Bobby in the BBC mockumentary, which satirises the work of Police Scotland.
“The Gardyne is a beautiful venue — I thought that all the way through doing panto — and the team there were so great with me.
“I got into doing panto for my nieces and nephews.
“I was babysitting them, making them laugh, and my mum said I should give it a go.
“People always act about, ‘oh, what part of your creative process made you go into panto’ – nah, I just did it for my nieces and nephews.”
And Darren admits that his experience in the City of Discovery played a deciding factor when he and Grado — known just as well for his wrestling career as his appearances in Scot Squad — decided to put their heads together and put on a live show.
Darren continued: “We just wanted to do something different.
“People have asked why not Glasgow, or Edinburgh, but I like the fact we’re doing it in Dundee.”
Grado added: “Whenever I’ve done wrestling shows in Dundee the crowds have been some of the best.
“Dundee is the place to go — we’re not dingying Dundee, no way.”
The format of the show will see the pair each perform their own set — and while Darren is accustomed to telling jokes on stage Grado says he’ll be brushing up on his skills beforehand.
The wrestler said: “I’ve done the grand total of two (live comedy) shows in my life. But I thought to myself, ‘you only live once’.
“There’s something I really enjoy about doing live comedy. I’m ready for it — expect anything.
“It’d be great if we could get a surprise guest — get Lorraine Kelly or something to turn up.
“We’ll drop her a tweet and leave her some free tickets at the box office.”
Both have followed unlikely career paths to get to where they are now.
Grado has wrestled in the Scottish Wrestling Alliance and Insane Championship Wrestling (ICW).
ICW was the focus of a documentary, Insane Fight Club, which put Grado into the public eye, and after a spell on BBC Scotland soap River City, he landed the role of PC Hugh McKirdy in Scot Squad.
Meanwhile, Darren pulled a sickie from his job as a trolley boy at Asda in order to audition for Scot Squad.
His role in the spoof documentary show, which has just finished its fourth series, has got him more attention than anything else.
“I get people coming up to me all the time when I’ve got my glasses on and look like Bobby,” he said.
“I love it. I’m always happy to stand and talk to people. It is surreal though. I can’t believe it when it happens.”
Tickets for The Grado and Connell Show are available from Dundee City Box Office for £14 plus booking fee.