Chris Ramsey is a ball of energy.

Less than a minute after bouncing onto the stage last night, he was laughing along with his audience and getting to know the people in the front row and in the cosy boxes at the City Varieties.

The 28-year-old comic, famously kicked off Sky One's Soccer AM in 2012 and subsequently banned for life, had a boyish charm that made his set feel more like a conversation down the pub than a performance.

His style was nicely complimented by warm-up act Carl Hutchinson, another comedy export from the North East.

Striding around the Varieties stage, he was a welcome surprise to the evening and a superb appetiser to Ramsey's main course.

His observational set, covering everything from the temptation of McDonalds to awkward steam room conversations, went down well with the crowd — his short appearance seemed to fly by.

After a short interval, it was time for Ramsey to take centre stage.

And of course, it was that famous TV appearance — and the fall out from it — that formed the backbone of his set.

Two things were clear: 1) his gaffe wasn't planned, and 2) he's not proud of it.

Comedian Chris Ramsey has been banned for life from Soccer AM
Comedian Chris Ramsey has been banned for life from Soccer AM
 

For the uninitiated, the clip of Ramsey accidentally using offensive language live on the Soccer AM sofas — twice — can be found on Youtube.

Some things are funnier with hindsight — and Ramsey's self-deprecating recollection of the disastrous affair certainly proved that.

It might have been two years ago, and some may criticise the 28-year-old for spending so much of his set on one topic, but judging from the howls of laughter from the Leeds audience, it was a story worth telling.

Ramsey's career has gone from strength to strength since his first appearance at the Edinburgh Festival in 2010 - starring with comedy legend Vic Reeves in Hebburn, touring across the UK and becoming a Celebrity Juice regular.

But fame hasn't gone to his head — he's still just a lad from South Shields hoping to make people laugh and share a few stories.

His stand-up is rough around the edges, and lacks the polished structure of the sets of the Manfords and McIntyres of this world, but his likeability shines through.

He rounded off the show with a video, featuring fellow comics Jimmy Carr, Noel Fielding, Keith Lemon and others, defending his Soccer-am slip up — with a hilarious cameo from Sky News presenter Eamonn Holmes.

He stuck around to sign programmes after the show and judging by the size of the queue that waited patiently to meet him, he doesn't need defending.

He may have almost become the most dangerous man on Saturday morning television — but it's only made his fans love him more.