COMEDY fans bagged an early Christmas present when pub singer ‘Gervaise’ from BBC sitcom Hebburn hit the stage for a surprise unannounced special guest appearance at two local comedy club shows.

Sell-out crowds at Stockton’s Catch 22 at ARC on Friday and Middlesbrough’s Big Mouth Comedy Club on Saturday were on their feet cheering as Middlesbrough-born actor Neil Grainger belted out Gervaise’s unique version of Band Aid classic ‘Do They Know It’s Christmas.’ He said: “Both nights have been absolutely fantastic, and the audiences have been amazing. Jason asked if I fancied doing this a couple of weeks back and I jumped at the chance. I’ve done plays at ARC before, and did my school project on the Town Hall, so coming home for a weekend like this was just wonderful.”

Hebburn star and creator Jason Cook, who also compered both nights, said: “These have been two very special homecoming gigs. I feel incredibly lucky with the way things have panned out this year. Catch 22 and Big Mouth are two of my favourite gigs in the world, and I brought Gervaise up for the weekend as a proper surprise – my way of saying ‘thank you’ to the Teesside audiences who have always made me feel extra welcome.”