Ed Byrne is back and getting personal in his new live show

Ed Byrne is live at the Baths Hall next month. Picture: Roslyn Gaunt
Ed Byrne is live at the Baths Hall next month. Picture: Roslyn Gaunt

Mock the Week star Ed Byrne returns to the Baths Hall in Scunthorpe next month with his latest stand-up tour, Outside, Looking In.

The Irishman is an established touring favourite, and despite his youthful looks recently marked up 20 years as a comic.

Outside, Looking In, sees him covering a wide range of subjects – from a recent gastric illness to the success of UKIP – but he also talks a lot about his family and it’s his most personal show yet.

He said: “I didn’t make a conscious effort to write a more personal show, but that was what was coming out when I started writing it.

“People come to see me for a laugh and I would like to think they go away thinking it’s quite heartwarming.

“A lot of comics may talk about the same stuff, but what makes it mine is that what I’m saying is what I genuinely think and I try to make it as funny as I can.”

Despite his family being a central plank of the show, Ed is adamant that he will keep his two young sons out of the celebrity spotlight.

He continued: “I’m aware that they haven’t given me permission to talk about them and that there will come a point when I can’t.

“I talk about them in pretty abstract terms, because what I’m discussing is the act of parenting, and you can’t talk about that without mentioning your own children.”

But while there is a lot of personal reflection in his new show, Ed also ponders on matters political – there is a passionate section about how we label young children, for instance – and he also talks about feminism and transgenderism.

Dipping a toe into the transgender debate (for which some have been vilified on social media) might seem a little risky but he feels it is subject we should be discussing as a society.

He said: “I thought it was interesting that it stills divides people.

“I call it the thorniest issue since Jesus was fitted for a hat.”

The feminist slant to the new show was sparked by Ed’s reflections on his early days in comedy and, strikingly, he admits to being a little uncomfortable about some of his laddish material back then.

He recalled: “My comedy reflected my life at that time – single and enjoying myself – and most of it was fairly harmless.

“But some of the stuff about an ex-girlfriend I can see was a bit angry and I wouldn’t do it now.”

He adds he is more aware of how men and women interact in the modern world and is sometimes surprised by the difference in his reactions to things as a man in his 40s (he’s 43) to when he was twentysomething.

He said: “I started watching Californication (the US comedy drama starring David Duchovny as a sex addict) but his character behaves so unconscionably that I couldn’t watch the second series.

“I don’t how much of that is simply getting older, or that times have changed, or mixing with a broader group of people.

“Interestingly I find Twitter can expand your horizons.

“I’ve started following all sorts of people on it and it’s good to get a different take on things.”

After two decades of touring, Ed says he still enjoys it (apart from the travel which no comic likes) because of the interaction with different people it allows him.

He added: “I love it, because you have people responding to something that you have written alone in your office, and the work comes alive in a room of people.

“I like the television things I do, but nothing can beat a live comedy audience.”

Ed Byrne is at the Baths Hall on March 8 and tickets are £19 on 0844 8542776 or www.bathshall.co.uk