The multitalented comedian Marcus Brigstocke has been entertaining us in a variety of ways over the past few years. He has proved a hugely engaging host of the hit Radio 4 and BBC4 comedy show, I've Never Seen Star Wars. He has written an absorbing book, God Collar, a coruscating look at modern faith. And he has been a fixture on such terrific Radio 4 comedies as I'm Sorry I Haven't A Clue, The Now Show and Just A Minute.
In addition, he has written and starred in three series and four specials of his widely loved Radio 4 series, Giles Wemmbley-Hogg Goes Off. He has been a team captain on the amusing TV panel game, Argumental, as well as appearing on such popular TV shows as Have I Got News For You, QI, and The Late Edition.
Marcus has also been treading the boards as King Arthur in Monty Python's Spamalot and as Station Master Perks in E Nesbit's The Railway Children at London's Waterloo Station. Phew!
But now Marcus is returning to his first love – stand-up – and he couldn't be happier about it. His hotly anticipated new show, The Brig Society, sees him restructuring every facet of British life through the medium of jokes.
He will tackle the trivialities and complexities of life with joyful silliness and vengeful ire. The always quick-witted Marcus is a master of satirical comedy who has in the past shown himself to be blisteringly funny on such diverse topics as religious extremism, climate change, The Special Relationship, the compensation culture, women's magazines, the EU, loans companies and David Blaine. He has also mounted his own personal battle against his middle-class roots.
Marcus finds it hard to contain his excitement about hitting the road once again. A stand-up who is effortlessly funny in any setting, he begins by extolling the virtues of live comedy.
"What I love is that it is such a straight deal: the audience show up and I have to make them laugh. I adore the simplicity of that contract.
"I choose to talk about things I'm passionate about. But I don't mind if people laugh at my naivete and utopian ideas or my objections to the way things have been done – just as long as they laugh!
"It's such a great adventure. I love going to a different town every night. Wherever I am, I have a good look around. I do my research, read the local papers and talk to the audience about what it's like there. That makes every night different and exciting."
What subjects will Marcus be covering in The Brig Society, then? First up is our current government.
"I haven't done a stand-up tour since the coalition came to power, and I can't wait to talk about that," says the comedian, who has always been passionately engaged in politics.
"The thrust of the show is to expose the nonsensical thinking offered to us as 'The Big Society'. The government seem to be saying to us, 'This is a bit difficult – why don't you do it?' 'No, you do it because we pay you to do it!'
"The show is saying, 'If they want us to do it, why don't we?' I divide the audience up into different departments and put someone in charge of education, the banks, the libraries and transport. We appoint Brig Society ministers. It's a good way for me to talk about what we might do better and how we might make a difference."
One of the elements that makes Marcus such an outstanding stand-up is his insatiable curiosity about the world.
"Social politics has always been my thing. I'm sure that's connected to the fact that I went to boarding school at seven and was in rehab by 17. During that time, I met some very interesting people who have inevitably left me very curious about how the puzzle fits together. I've met people from very diverse areas and that has given me massive curiosity about things. Why and how does that work?"
Marcus Brigstocke is at the Princess Pavilion in Falmouth tomorrow night and the Guildhall, St Ives, on Sunday. Next week he is at the Corn Exchange, Exeter, on Wednesday and The Plough Arts Centre, Great Torrington on Thursday, March 7.