Alexei Sayle was at the forefront of the alternative comedy scene way back in the early 80s. The funnyman's aggressive style, unique delivery and sharp wit pulled in big audiences wherever he performed. His talent resulted in the BBC giving him his own show, which saw Sayle gain even more fans in the process.
But then, almost without anyone noticing, he drifted out of the spotlight. Sayle did his last stand-up stint back in 1996, choosing to concentrate instead on other things, such as his writing.
Several successful novels later, and the news is that Sayle is preparing to dip his toe back into the pool of live comedy, with appearances lined up at London's Bloomsbury Theatre in December and the Soho Theatre in January and February.
However, it seems that the appearances do not mark a full-blown return to the comedy circuit - not at this stage, at least.
The comedy legend clarifies the situation on his blog: "I'm just mc'ing the shows at the Soho Theatre and the show at the Bloomsbury on the 19th of December to try out new material and a different style of delivery and see how it goes."
So don't quite expect the Sayle of old, akin to a bullet train coming at you at full pelt. But do expect something special, and possibly the beginning of something big.
Sayle will be compering at the Bloomsbury Theatre on 19th December (£25, concessions £15), introducing Helen Keen, Mark Thomas and Darren Hayman to the stage.
You'll also be able to catch him at the Soho Theatre on 17th, 24th and 31st January, as well as on 7th February (2012). At the Soho Theatre, Sayle will be introducing acts he has personally chosen from the comedy circuit. Tickets for the shows cost £15, or £12.50 for concessions.
Sayle isn't far off his 60th birthday, so who knows, following these shows he might be reaching for the pipe and slippers, ready to fall back into a comfy rocking chair, never to tread the boards again.
Then again, perhaps he'll once more get the taste for stand-up, resulting in him doing a putting on a run of one-man shows in the West End. Sayle's fans will certainly be hoping it's the latter.