Playing for laughs: World's top comedians heading to Scotland

From Chris Rock to Peter Kay, stand-up superstars are heading to a venue near you.

Stand-up stars: Chris Rock, left, and Peter Kay. PA

Exclusive pre-sale tickets for Scottish comedian Kevin Bridges' latest stand up tour went on sale on Wednesday.

Brand New 2018 will be the popular Clydebank performer's first live tour in three years, with tickets bound to sell like hot cakes (or even hoose rice).

The 31-year-old will not be the only top stand-up star playing in the country next year, however, as Scottish comedy fans are treated to performances by stars from around the globe.

We take a look at six of the hottest comedy shows coming to a venue near you in 2018.

Kevin Bridges: Scotland

Did ye aye? Kevin Bridges is playing to crowds in Glasgow and Edinburgh. © SLTN

Ever since bursting on to the mainstream comedy circuit in 2009 as part of Michael McIntyre's Comedy Roadshow on the BBC, the man known as Kev I.N has gone from strength to strength.

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With his relatable stories of growing in Clydebank, the stand-up star was hailed as the brightest young comedy talent in the UK and the heir apparent to legendary Billy Connolly.

Bridges decided to take up comedy after reading Frank Skinner's autobiography and started off playing to small crowds at the Stand Comedy Club in Glasgow.

After more than five million people watched his live TV debut on the Michael McIntyre Roadshow, he sold out a run of 25 nights at the Edinburgh Festival Fringe.

By the end of 2010 he had completed a sell-out UK tour and released a top selling DVD as his meteoric rise continued.

Bridges is a regular on TV panel shows Mock The Week and Would I Lie To You? and has made cameo appearances in Gary: Tank Commander and Rab C. Nesbitt.

Brand New will be his fourth UK wide tour after the acclaimed sellout tours The Story So Far in 2010, The Story Continues in 2012 and A Whole Different Story in 2015.

He will play four gigs in Edinburgh between September 26 and September 29 and eight shows in Glasgow between October 4 and 14, after announcing on Wednesday he had added an extra two dates.

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Chris Rock: US

Everybody hates Chris? Not if his ticket sales are anything to go by.

Since starting out doing stand-up on New York City's Catch A Rising Star more than 30 years ago Chris Rock has risen to become one of the most popular comedians on Earth.

It was as part of the Saturday Night Live cast alongside other up-and-coming comics such asAdam Sandler and Rob Schneider in the early 1990s where he really made his name.

His at times controversial routine is an often no-holds barred take on race relations in the US rooted in his teenage years growing up in New York.

It has proved an international hit, with Rock playing to sellout crowds in every corner of the globe.

The 52-year-old was named eighth in a UK-wide vote for Channel 4's Greatest Comedian Of All Time show in 2007.

Rock also has an accomplished acting career with roles in I'm Gonna Get You Sucka and Beverly Hills Cop II as well as two of his own sitcoms The Chris Rock Show between 1997-2000 and Everybody Hates Chris from 2005-2009.

He will be playing at the SSE Hydro in Glasgow on January 24.

Peter Kay: England

Peter Kay: Is this the way to the Armadillo?

The Pheonix Nights and Max and Paddy's Road To Nowhere star is in the Guinness Book of Records for the most successful comedy stand-up tour of all time.

His 2010/2011 The Tour That Doesn't Tour Tour... Now on Tour sold more than 1.2 million tickets.

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He broke records again in December 2011 as his DVD sales broke the ten million mark, a UK record for a comedian and more than the combined sales of that year's best-selling films Avatar and Mamma Mia.

Kay has also had several acting gigs and has branched into the music industry by releasing six singles, including three number one hits.

In what will be his first live tour in eight years, Kay will play a run of shows at the Hydro in Glasgow between May 14 and May 25.

Russell Brand: England

Marmite: His Brand of comedy can divide opinion.

Russell Brand's often controversial style has divided the nation.

Despite being like Marmite - you will either love him or hate him - the 42-year-old is also a successful presenter, actor and social media personality in his own right.

The West Ham fanatic also spent two years married to American pop superstar Katy Perry that helped raise his profile across the Atlantic.

He was the host of Big Brother spin off show Big Brother's Big Mouth for three years between 2004 and 2007 then made inroads into Hollywood with his two most successful comedy movies to date in Forgetting Sarah Marshall and its sequel Get Him To Greek.

In 2008, he became embroiled in a controversy with fellow host Jonathon Ross after making offensive phone calls to Fawlty Towers actor Andrew Sachs about Brand's relationship with his granddaughter.

Brand and Ross subsequently left their jobs with the BBC.

In 2014, the comic launched his YouTube politics show The Trews: True News with Russell Brand that is regularly viewed by tens of millions of people.

He will be bringing his latest stand-up show Re:Birth to Scotland in April with a show at the Edinburgh Playhouse on the 10th, the Glasgow Hydro on the 11th before finishing up in the Perth Concert Hall on April 12.

Dara O Briain: Ireland

Good craic: O Briain has hosted Mock the Week for 12 years.

Irish comedian Dara O Briain is best known for his long-standing role as host on BBC panel show Mock The Week.

The 45-year-old has hosted the show, on which the likes of Frankie Boyle and Russell Howard made their names, since 2005.

He began performing his first stand-up routines around 1994 playing in small clubs and pubs throughout Dublin and Donegal to a handful of people for £40 a night.

In the early 2000s he started touring more heavily then, in 2005, he had the biggest selling solo comedy show of the Edinburgh Festival Fringe.

O Briain and fellow comedians Jack Whitehall and Jon Richardson set a new record in 2011 by hosting the highest stand-up comedy gig in the world on a British Airways flight in support of Comic Relief.

The County Wicklow-born comic will be playing two nights at Her Majesty's Theatre in Aberdeen on March 12 and 13 before playing the SEC Armadillo in Glasgow two months later on May 26.

Jim Jefferies: Australia 

Jim Jefferies: Funnier than your average football manager.

Not to be confused with the former Heart of Midlothian and Kilmarnock manager of the same name, Jim Jefferies is one of the world's most loved and successful comedy stars.

Born in Sydney in 1977, he first achieved international attention in 2007 when he was attacked onstage while performing a stand-up show in Manchester.

He incorporated the incident into his act and footage of the attack can be seen on his 2008 DVD, Contraband.

After the DVD proved a surprise top seller in the US, Jefferies was handed his own HBO special in 2009 called I Swear To God.

His broad Australian accent and sarcastic style proved to be a major hit in America and he became a regular fixture and landed his own Netflix special Freedumb and a weekly series The Jim Jefferies Show on Comedy Central.

Initially only signed for one ten-episode series, it was recommissioned for another ten episodes as soon as the first series ended in May 2017.

On his six-date visit to the UK as part of next year's world tour he will play one gig at the SEC Armadillo in Glasgow on January 21.

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