IT’S a clear indication you’ve been out of your homeland for too long when people mistake you for another nationality all together.
Such has been the case for Craig Campbell, the beefy Devon-based Canadian comic about to return to a Sheffield audience.
“If I go back to Canada they don’t think I’m Canadian, that’s for sure,” he concurs ahead of his Memorial Hall show a week today as part of the October-long Grin Up North festival.
“I’m sure this is totally insane for you to hear because I’m quite clearly Canadian to a British ear, but Canadians tend to think I’m Irish or Scottish.
“It’s less a matter of the accent and more the turn of phrase, probably. If I moved back there I’d be an outsider. Then from the time I was 18 I’ve been travelling as a comic on the road so even in Canada I wasn’t attached to where I was from.”
Craig certainly made plenty of friends here on previous visits to Sheffield, his maple-tinted observations of British culture winning over crowds, notably on the final Frankie Boyle tour on which he was support, including Sheffield’s Motorpoint Arena.
“I’ve been doing it for eons and there’s a sense I’m growing up with my audience, I think,” he says. “They’ve been going to shows for a while and some have maybe seen me 10 years ago.
“Now, if there’s anything that differentiates me from your average Brit, it would be that I’m probably more Euro-centric than your average Brit, not politically but sensibility wise.”
One of the aspects Craig has been keen to point out during his shows is the British sense of outrage at the rest of the world.
“It’s more bluster than reality that Brits don’t get on with anybody that’s not speaking English because there’s obviously Brits all over Europe having a great time.
“Comedically we always like to play up the abrasion between the Brits and everybody else, but the Brits and the Canadians just get along swimmingly.”