HE’S become famous for his catchphrase “no likey, no lighty”, but when Take Me Out host Paddy McGuinness headed to the Arctic circle he found himself surrounded by lights of a different kind — the Northern ones.
Paddy will be co-hosting the series 71 Degrees North, where celebrities compete to reach the freezing North Cape in Norway.
And having just returned from a month’s filming, Paddy was happy to share some of his experiences in the snowy wilds.
“It’s strange because there were things there that I will never see again,” he says. “There were times I was on my own on my snowmobile and I would look round and think, ‘Christ, I’m from Daubhill and now look where I am.’ Then after a week or two it’s like I’d get up and be like, ‘Oh, there’s the Northern Lights again.’”
While the celebrities had to brave the cold in tents, Paddy and his co-host Charlotte Jackson were put up in hotels, although they weren’t quite as swanky as might be expected for stars of a major television show.
“I thought that we might be in a swish hotel, but the trouble is there’s no Holiday Inns in the Arctic,” laughs the Phoenix Nights star. “We stayed in these little chalets though, they were alright.”
The series will air in September, and filming for Take Me Out starts again in November. In between, Paddy will be taking to the road to play his first arena tour, Saturday Night Live, with a date in Manchester on October 29.
“It’s going to be an entertainment show rather than one man and a mic standing there wittering,” he says. “There’s going to be some music, some acts...”
Music? Will Paddy be crooning to the front row?
“No, no, I’m no Mickey Bubbles,” he says. “I can’t give the game away...”
“I say that. I’ve clearly not really got anything planned yet.”
Clearly. Summer will be spent writing, then, with a handful of warmup shows to be announced soon to give him the chance to road test the new material in front of a more intimate audience. Luckily for Paddy’s nerves it won’t be the first time he has appeared on stage in an arena —- he hosted last year’s Britain’s Got Talent tour and says that “after the first five or six rows you don’t realise that you’re in an arena, it’s just like a theatre.”
“It’s a nice feeling to be writing new stuff again,” he adds. “I’m really looking forward to getting on with it now.”
Tickets for the show cost £25 and are on sale now. To book, ring 0844 847 8000.