Milton Jones playing Scunthorpe Baths Hall on Nov 22 and Grimsby Auditorium on Feb 19
FOR THOSE who have seen BBC2 show Mock The Week, Milton Jones needs no introduction. And those who haven't seen Milton before will be forgiven for thinking he has a face for radio.
This is not meant as an insult though, as radio was the medium that earned him recognition for his comedy sketches.
After a lot of hard grafting, Milton is loaded up with lots of brand new jokes every bit as sharp and dazzling as his shirts.
And he is now putting them to use with his brand new On The Road tour, which stops at Grimsby Auditorium on Tuesday, February 19, WRITES SELINA MAYCOCK.
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Speaking about his winding road to becoming a comedian and achieving accolades, Milton said he came close to finding himself at the end of the road before he'd even got there.
He said: "Years ago, I wanted to be an actor but I couldn't get any work so I turned to stand-up comedy, where I could just get up and do it.
"I did it gradually and it took over – coinciding with comedy getting bigger.
"I didn't have to rehearse and if I forgot my line, I'd just make something else up and be absolutely terrified.
"But I had found my voice and sometimes that's not the case with everybody else.
"Lots of funny people give up and those who aren't funny keep going and make a career out of it."
Milton says his early acting career has helped equip him with the skills used today.
He said: "It's helped me learn my lines if I've already written the joke and doing one liners has resulted in me agonising over each syllable when I'm reading.
"When I'm halfway through something that I've not done for ages I've forgotten the end of the joke on occasions but I can say something weird or pull a funny face then do something else.
"I've got better at remembering stuff – you have more control with doing comedy, which can be good or bad and is undisciplined."
Milton looked up to comedy characters on the television like Rowan Atkinson in Blackadder and Ronnie Barker, rather than stand-up comedians.
And he believes becoming a comedian these days is much harder, due to the number of comics on the scene.
He said: "They do stand-up courses at university which are all fine but they teach people what other people do.
"The whole point of being a successful comedian is having an original voice, not being like Harry Hill or other people that already exist."
Milton was used to performing from an early age at school and college.
He moved on to do stand-up at an open spot gig but he didn't initially get the response he hoped for.
"I had forgotten everything," he said.
"I was in such a state that I 'died' on stage, so I ran off and didn't do comedy again for two years.
"It's different for people who have another job, a lot of people give up on comedy but I didn't have anything else – I had no job to go to so I got stuck in and gave it another try."
Milton said when he returned to the comedy scene, he had thought about having a drink to steady his nerves.
But he realised to be a successful comedian, you must be sharp.
He said: "You lose the second you start to feel good and are not as sharp as you should be – it's a slippery slope.
"I cannot remember the show that I did when I returned but it was a lot easier."
Milton said his favourite type of performance was live gigs.
He said: "Doing live performances is when I'm at my purest and it's far more rewarding because each show has something different in them.
"There's a real mix of people who come to see me – teenagers and kids who have watched me on Mock the Week and then Radio 4 attracts older people mostly.
"In a show not so long ago an eight-year-old started talking to me, she wasn't heckling but she would add in stuff and at the end I asked her 'did you enjoy the show' and her mother said 'she's asleep'.
"That got the loudest heckle of the night. I'd sent a child to sleep during my show – you cannot manufacture that."
When it comes to his On The Road tour, Milton says he will bring "a bit of everything" to the stage.
He said: "For anyone who has seen me on TV, I will use the style of one liners, use some music, pictures and audience participation.
"I have to vary it a bit, otherwise I would see the blood coming out of people's ears."
Milton praises the likes of Michael McIntyre and Lee Mack but admits that when he watches other comedians perform he finds himself just nodding along to their jokes.
He said: "I often say to myself 'I know what he's done there' – after all these years of being a comedian I forget to laugh because I'm analysing the jokes. Michael McIntyre is very good and so are Stuart Lee, Lee Mack and David Mitchell.
"Being a comedian you cannot cheat – you get found out if you're not very good because people won't laugh."
Milton's accolades include a Sony Radio Academy award for his radio show the Very World of Milton Jones.
He also won a silver Sony award in 2012 for Another Case of Milton Jones and Best Comedy Performer Award from Time Out magazine, as well as Headliner of the Year from Chortle.
"Doctors have letters after their names to show how qualified they are, so awards and TV credits are like that for me" he said.
Milton says he'd love to appear on Have I Got News For You and also dreams of taking part in a travel programme that would give him the opportunity to tackle something challenging.
Milton returns to Lincolnshire having previously performed at Grimsby Auditorium and Barton's Ropewalk.
Speaking of his return to the region, he said: "I am always amazed at how big Lincolnshire is, in terms of it is the lost part of Britain and I can't believe how flat it is."
To buy tickets for Milton Jones' gig at Grimsby Auditorium on February 19, visit www.atgtickets.com/venues/ grimsby-auditorium
Milton Jones will visit the Baths Hall, Doncaster Road, Scunthorpe, on Friday, November 22. Tickets are £20 and are on sale now from The Box Office, telephone 0844 8542776.