As a Canadian, Craig Campbell is used to his fair share of cold, wet weather.
Having relocated to sunny Devon, you’d think he’d be happy to be away from severe winters.
But no. If anything, Craig actively searches out the wettest, coldest, muddiest weather he can find, which inevitably often leads him back to Scotland.
The strapping 6ft 3in comedian was actually a competitive white-water kayaker in his native country, and considered pursuing it as a career.
“It’s a big reason that I don’t mind damp or cold. I’ve learned how to stay very warm,” he said.
“It’s not a practical career, though, unless you plan on being a carpenter who lives by the river. Also, if you just pull your thumb the wrong way, that’s your career over.”
Thankfully, he followed his interest in stand-up comedy, and he’s back at Aberdeen’s Lemon Tree this weekend.
When supporting Frankie Boyle in Aberdeen previously, Craig discussed his love of Scottish people’s attitudes, their love of anything pie-based, and our ability to turn any conversation into a barney.
This time, though, he’s reminiscing on a recent trip to the Cairngorms.
“For me, Scotland is on another planet; it’s very good to me. If I’m not performing here, I get a lot of people asking when I’m coming back,” said Craig.
“I have Scottish ancestry, so obviously there’s a magnetic attraction anyway, but, as an outdoorsy person, I have to say you guys have the best climate ever.
“I’m an outdoors fiend. I’ve always got a mountain bike, a snowboard or hiking boots attached to my feet.
“Earlier this year, I was here for the Mountain and Valley Festival in Aviemore with Ed Byrne, so we decided to go exploring.
“We decided to tackle seven Munros while we were here, but it was pretty awful weather. We stepped out of the car and it was pretty grim at Pitlochry; getting across from the road to the trail was hard enough.
“From the first step, I was soaking. We were walking side by side with hoods up over our faces, and then walked into some fog.
“Two minutes later, I looked up and couldn’t’ see him any more. I actually had his mobile in my waterproof bag, and it started ringing. It was Dara O Briain, and I thought, what do I tell him, I’ve lost your fellow Irish comedian Ed Byrne.”
“It was actually getting pretty scary, and I had to decide, after half a granola bar, do I keep moving and complete the climb, or do I run down the next valley towards the road. Somewhere in making that decision we bumped into each other again and headed for the car.
“I knew then that if I planned to explore more of Scotland I needed to migrate into moose-hunting boots. I’ve considered fur-lined wellies for Scotland. They’d be handy even when I arrive on the train in Aberdeen, to be honest.”
So enthralled by colder weather is Craig that he has started to plan his tours around weather. If there’s an opportunity to get out on his snowboard, or get his mountain bike dirty, Craig’s on to it, and he has even persuaded other comedians to join him.
“I’ve been developing the Snowed In Comedy Tour for the past six years,” he said.
“Basically, if a gig doesn’t involve me being able to snowboard I don’t pick up my phone during the winter. I’ve created a period from January to April during which I only do shows that are in ski resorts.
“This year, I flew in from Canada to Heathrow, then went on to Norway, then popped home to my house in Devon, then headed to the Swiss Alps, then back to Aviemore, then the French Alps, then Austria, before finishing in Norway.
“It’s fantastic. I’ve persuaded a few guys to do it with me, including Ed and Frankie Boyle, although they can’t do the whole thing because they have children.
“My life is so buoyant that I can’t be sitting in a hotel room, no matter where I am, with nothing to do but one comedy show for an hour each night, so now I get to combine both of my loves. It’s a very happy existence.”
With this logic, Craig has basically planned the next few years. Following the last show of this tour, his 116th date, Craig is booked up until 2014.
“One of the biggest epiphanies of my life has been that if you’re not working on your own, then work with friends. It’s the best way to live,” he said.
“I’m touring with Frankie Boyle until the end of the year, and I’m also touring with the Lumberjacks show. It’s a greatest hits of myself, Stewart Francis and Wes Zaharuk, and is so much fun. I’ve known these guys for 20 years, but we never dreamed of doing a show together. It’s great fun. There’s no pressure, other than wanting to do well. It’s a fulfilling and comfortable place to be.”
Craig Campbell is at the Lemon Tree on Sunday. For more information visit www.boxofficeaberdeen.com