Joe Wilkinson is an ordinary man. So ordinary, in fact, that one could argue he is extraordinarily ordinary.

He talks about his frustration of wanting to move to Brighton but not being able to sell his south London flat. He has a mate who works at a Marmite factory. He finds it odd that, when The Guide is connected via his agent to his mobile, someone took time out to introduce him. His debut solo stand-up show celebrates his apparent banality.

“When you do your first tour, you’re meant to talk about your life up to that point… but I haven’t really done anything. People have done some amazing things – cycled around the world or taken a bath boat up the Thames. I look at what I’ve done and think, well, what have I done?” he deadpans.

“I was sitting there with a notepad thinking, ‘I’ve not even got a bike!’”

At least he has a notepad.

“Nah, I borrowed it,” he laughs.

“Life isn’t easy. I’m not the best at it. I shouldn’t be captaining me really. I haven’t got married or had kids, or done anything that I should have done. I think the show is about being one of the many people who are like that.”

It’s an achievement in itself to have written a show entirely about achieving nothing, but Wilkinson has succeeded in doing just that.

“It’s my parents fault. They’re very nice, so they’ve not put me through any trauma that I can talk about. I’m left with nothing, really,” he laughs.

“That’s the crux, which is a great sell to the audience, as you can imagine. They’re going to be queuing up in their droves to hear about nothing – but that’s the truth.”

For all his honesty, Wilkinson is being modest. Since starting his comic career in 2004, he’s gigged all around the country, and there’s no doubt you’ll have seen him doing the rounds on TV shows such as Have I Got News For You, The Rob Brydon Show, 8 Out Of 10 Cats, Never Mind The Buzzcocks and Russell Howard’s Good News.

He’s also supported some big names on their tours – both Stephen Merchant and Russell Howard have had the honour of the comic opening for them.

“I always loved comedy but, like 99.9% of society, I thought it wasn’t for me. So I did what everyone else does and got a normal job. When I started doing stand-up, I didn’t tell anyone for a year. I thought if it went as badly as I assumed it would, then no one else needed to know,” he laughs.

“I did it to try it – like bungee jumping or something – and I kept doing it. I’ll give it a whack and hope I’m not as bad as I think I’ll be.”

He wasn’t bad at all, winning the Hackney Empire New Act Award and coming second in the national So You Think You’re Funny comedy competition. Last year he was chosen to play Dan, the slightly creepy neighbour in BBC Three’s sitcom Him & Her, written by fellow comic Stefan Golaszewski.

“I based the character on someone I met. He’s a lovely guy, but he’s one of those people who always feels someone is about to tell him to eff-off. I met him after a gig – he said he really liked it, then went to run off,” Wilkinson explains.

“I stole his demeanour. Does that make me a bad person?”

The sitcom has proved such a success that a second series has been filmed and is ready to air.

“I always knew I was going to be proud of it and I’m really pleased people love it. I’ve had crazy middle-aged women sending me weird things ever since, which is a very proud thing for me.

“I didn’t know whether people were going to go for it and, for once in my life, I wasn’t ashamed,” he laughs, before adding, “That was a short-lived experience.”

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