SAM Avery’s life changed in more ways than one when he became a first-time dad to twin boys Ben and Zac.

Like every parent he had to deal with sleep deprivation, disastrous nappy changes and 4am feeds.

But unlike most other mums and dads, the comedian also became an online sensation for talking about just that.

Sam’s award-winning blog, The Learner Parent, struck a chord with thousands of people thanks to its brutally honest portrayal of the experiences of having a baby – or in his case two at once – and it still continues every week.

It has since become a book and a show and with his boys now approaching school age, another chapter in their lives will be covered.

Sam said: “They are going to be starting school in September so that’s going to be terrifying. They’ll probably be ok on the first day. I’ll just be weeping at the gates.”

Like some of the best things in life, Sam’s alter ego – The Learner Parent – was a happy accident.

The 41-year-old just started taking some notes about the funny side of being a dad, hoping for a bit of stand-up material, when it took on a life of its own.

He added: “I’ve done stand-up for 17 years now and I’ve always made notes of any funny ideas that pop into my head.

“And when we got back from the hospital with these two babies, I was just making loads of notes in my phone.

“Someone said to me: ‘You should turn it into a blog’. I hated the term blog because I’d just seen all these horrible celebrity blogs and thought: ‘I don’t want to be like that’.

“But obviously that’s just a very small section of what blogging is.

“There is all sorts of stuff you can write about so I thought I’ll try it online and if people respond to it, I might get five minutes of stand-up out of it.

“I was writing one every day at the start because babies just sleep so much at the beginning. And quite quickly, within a few weeks, there were all these people following it and sharing it. It took on a life of its own so I worked really hard on it.”

The blog spoke to a generation of exhausted parents.

Sam said: “I made sure every Tuesday morning at 9.30am this blog would come out. No matter what I was doing it would always come out and people started to respond to that and wait for it.

Winsford Guardian:

“That was really nice and then I had a post called ‘20 Things I Learnt As A Parent Last Year’ at the beginning of 2017 that got shared around the world. It went viral as they say and that added 60,000 new followers in the space of two days.

“So it began to get out of hand. I got approached by a publisher to write a book so I did that and the book went well.

“Then it was the start of last year when I thought I should really do some stand-up around this because that’s what I do and I’ve now got this in-built audience.

“I only set out to make people laugh and that’s all I’m still trying to do. I suppose humour has a way of getting to the truth quite quickly and getting to the crux of the matter.”

But despite looking at parenthood from a dad’s perspective, Sam’s audience is mainly mums.

The Liverpool comic added: “Ninety per cent of people who follow the page are female so I feel like the Daniel O’Donnell of comedy. But some of the best compliments I’ve had are from fellas who have been dragged to the show.

“I’m not sure what they were expecting. Maybe something like an NCT chat where I talk about my feelings for two hours.

“So the dads come along and you see them sat with their arms folded but 20 minutes in you see them laughing and then they often come up to me at the end to say how much they enjoyed it.”

Ben and Zac are now four and a half and Sam has to be conscious of how much of a public profile he gives them.

Sam said: “I’ve already started being less revealing about what the kids are doing because I feel like it’s got to that point where they’re not just generic toddlers anymore.

“They’ve got their own personalities and I don’t feel like I want to expose that to the world so I try and turn the humour back on myself – decisions I make and things I get wrong rather than things the kids are doing.

“They haven’t got a clue what the blog is but they know I’m a comedian. Because when I first said to them: ‘Do you know what daddy does for a job? I’m a comedian – I make people laugh’, one of them said: ‘I want to get a job where I make people sneeze’.

“I suppose he was thinking laughing is just like a physical reaction so maybe with sneezing there is a job in that.

“They’re still getting to grips with that but they’re really funny as well and maybe one day they’ll be my support act.”

Talking about parental woes is a far cry from Sam’s original career goal – in his youth he was in a band called DBH and even had a record deal with BMG.

He added: “We were meant to be the next big thing and toured with Motorhead then it all went wrong as it always does.

“But what it did do was fill me with this huge level of bitterness and cynicism that is perfect for stand-up comedy so it was a great training experience for preparing me for the next phase of my life...”

HOW SAM'S LIFE CHANGED FOREVER

Sam Avery joked that he was going to board the first plane out of Liverpool when he found out he was going to have twins.

He said: “My first reaction was to find my passport, pack a bag and run away to Brazil.

“We had the scan and my wife was convinced we were having two anyway because she was having morning sickness in the morning and the evening. I don’t think that’s scientific but she was convinced that’s what it was.

“So we went for the 12-week scan and the sonographer finds the baby. 
“You’re instantly in love with this image in front of you then my wife said: ‘Is there just one in there?’

And he said: ‘Nope’ and moves the scanner to the other baby. It was like University Challenge where they buzz in and the camera zooms in on you and I remember I said: ‘Are there just two in there?’ And he said: ‘Nope’ as if to say there’s three in there. 

“And honestly, I had my coat on, I was about to run away and he said: ‘I’m only messing, there’s just two’. After that, two seems easy.”

The name The Learner Parent is a nod to the uphill struggle of having children.

Sam added: “Nobody really knows what they’re doing and the second you think you do everything changes and you’re rubbish at it again.

“Your kids are growing up, new challenges arise and everything you’ve learnt becomes redundant. 

“Like the day I learnt how to collapse the double buggy the boys started walking. And I’ve spoken to people in their 50s with kids in their 20s and they say they still don’t know what they’re doing. 

“It’s not celebrating that but embracing it and saying that’s how it is. We’re always in that period of flux and none of us are ever qualified.”

Sam’s hardest – or at least most embarrassing – day as a parent was when he took the twins swimming.

He said: “One of them did a poo in the swimming pool when he was seven months old and they had to close the pool down. It was floating around. But weirdly something like that happens and it becomes one of the most popular blogs.”

So why do we put ourselves through it?

Sam added: “It’s incredibly rewarding, it’s emotionally off the charts, it gives you a sense of purpose and puts everything else into perspective. It also enables you to have a hands-on approach to shaping the future of the world in a very tiny corner of it.

"Because you’ve got these people or this person in your life now and you’ve got to try to guide them, direct them and fill them with love and encourage them to make the right decisions. That’s an incredibly scary feeling but also an incredibly empowering one.”

Sam Avery presents The Learner Parent at the Pyramid on Friday, July 12. Visit pyramidparrhall.com or call 442345