Simon Day, the comedian known to millions for his roles in the smash-hit BBC comedy The Fast Show, as well as for his appearances in a clutch of TV adverts, brought his new show to Sheffield this week.

The London comic’s set, ‘What a Fool Believes’ has been billed as a blend of personal anecdotes and poems with more conventional stand-up material.

Attendance at the Memorial Hall was unfortunately sparse, meaning that from the beginning the gig lacked the sort of bawdy atmosphere that the best comics thrive on.

Instead Steel City comedy fans saw glimpses of the life of an undoubtedly talented comedian who still seems to be living in the shadow of his former achievements.

A short first half saw him discuss his upbringing in 1970s Britain, and included some evocative tales of the tastes, décor and values of the time.

In keeping with the story-telling premise of the show, Day shot off on several tangents, but often didn’t give his funnier ideas the attention they deserved. Some promising lines on the difference between male and female weight gain were left undeveloped, adding to the impression that the material had been hastily arranged.

Half-way through Day admitted that he had cut many of his personal anecdotes from the show as the tour had progressed. Whilst some of the more interesting material boarded on the confessional, it jarred uncomfortably with Day’s irreverent impressions and character based comedy.

Tellingly, he also said that the idea of a show about himself had been his wife’s idea, and that he would be returning to the character comedy for which he is famous on his next tour.

Judging by the lukewarm reception that the Steel City gave his material, this probably isn’t a bad idea.