James Rampton on comedy

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After years of world domination, the white male twentysomething straight stand-up is now under threat from a backlash. Still bravely fighting his corner, however, is Alan Davies (below right). Perrier-nominated at the Edinburgh Festival last year, this comedian is something of a throwback: a rambling raconteur who can actually raise a laugh. As the Sunday Times put it: "He could ramble for England." His artfully anecdotal style ranges over topics as diverse as his mother's hungry Alsatian, why old people always use the verb "to pop", and Starsky and Hutch - like most comedians of a certain age, he gets (perhaps excessive) comic mileage out of Seventies TV. After appearances on Channel 4's Viva Cabaret which gained him a British Comedy Award nomination and fronting his own radio show, Alan's Big 1FM (it's amazing how many comedians got a break on Radio 1), Davies is about to reach a wider television audience with his own show for Channel 4. In One for the Road, he plays a drifter camcordering his way around Europe. Davies is following in the footsteps of Paul Merton, Julian Clary, Josie Lawrence, and, most recently, Lee Evans, on the well-trodden path from the stand-up circuit to the door of Seamus Cassidy, C4's Commissioning Editor for Comedy. All this and he was voted one of Britain's most eligible bachelors by Company magazine.

Alan Davies is at the Lyric Theatre, Shaftesbury Avenue, London, W1 (0171 494 5048) this Sunday at 8pm

three to see

Jack Dee: Hard man talks soft - babies, nappies etc. Sat, The Dome, Brighton

Phill Jupitus: Essex beer boy with a rampantly twisted mind. Sat, Jongleurs Camden, London

Andrea Leigh: Kooky San Franciscan. Wed, Buzz Club, Bristol

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