AFTER a gap of three years, Michael McIntyre is returning to the live arena.

The most successful comedian in the UK is delighted to be coming back to stand-up comedy with this huge new Big World Tour.

“Stand-up is what I do, and it’s so rewarding,” he says. “If you write a joke and tell it to an audience of 15,000 people who laugh their heads off at it, it’s the best feeling in the world. What more could you ever want?”

McIntyre goes on to explain how his comedy has developed over the years. “My show is about silliness and exaggerated stories. I like jokes where people don’t stop laughing. I want that all the time. I don’t just like to use punchlines anymore, especially in arenas. They freak me out. There is nothing worse than 15,000 people waiting for a punchline. You’re standing there thinking, ‘I hope I remember the punchline.’

“But once you start to think that, you immediately forget it. I much prefer getting into that sense of rolling laughter. When you get that right, there’s no better feeling.”

The comedian has been responsible for widely loved routines as the “man drawer” and “herbs and spices.” They have struck a universal chord.

“We’re all living the same lives,” he says. “I highlight something that people haven’t really thought about before. They realise we all do the same thing, and it makes them laugh.”

The popularity of those routines persuaded Michael to open his last show with a film of members of the public retelling his most famous jokes. He recalls that, “People would say to me, ‘Every time I do that, I think of you.’

“I did a joke about the daily struggle to get your kids to put their coats on, and my children still refuse to do it. I say to them, ‘Put your coat on. I did a joke about this on the telly, and it’s gone viral. It’s got 5 million hits, and still you’re resisting.”

He admits that “I used to be daunted by the prospect of performing in an arena. Before a show, I would look out at the huge audience and think, ‘Great, what’s on tonight? Oh my God, it’s me!’ But having played so many arenas now, I can see that there is something rather magical about them.”

As he has done so often in the past, Michael will also be focusing on his family in Big World Tour. “I always talk about my two boys. That’s an ever-evolving subject. They’re amazing. They’re doing very well, and I’m very proud of them. But that changes every day – talk to me tomorrow and I may give you a different story.

“But I will definitely be doing jokes about my oldest getting a little bit teenager-y. The way he says ‘sorr-ee’ is hilarious. He has an amazing ability to say the word ‘sorry’ in every way other than the one which means ‘sorry’”.

He will also be discussing his country house. “It’s our dream home that we haven’t been to for several months. We have a security system where I can watch the house on my phone. So I can look at my dream house and move the cameras, but what I can’t do is live in it.

But he confesses that his lovely country house comes with a few inbuilt problems. “There is constant anxiety. There is continual tension about the plumbing and electrics. Every time I turn on the hot tap, I’m fearful: will the water warm up or not? You start to kid yourself that it is heating up, but of course it’s not.

“And whenever I turn the light on, I expect the whole house to go up. It’s quite old, so when you flush the loo, it makes noises for the next 24 hours in the weirdest places I stand there thinking – ‘We’ve got a pipe in there’”.

Finally, McIntyre reflects on what he would like audiences to take away from his Big World Tour. “I would like them to take away the programme, the merchandise and the motivation not to write a bad review which I will read in the car home.

In all seriousness, what I do is so silly. It helps when you remind yourself that it’s all very silly. They just want to have a laugh. So I try to make them laugh as hard as possible for as long as possible and give them the opportunity to say to each other ‘That was hilarious. My face hurts’”.

lMichael McIntyre plays Brighton Centre from May 25 to 30