BEFORE I speak with Al Murray, his publicist makes it very clear that I will be interviewing Al Murray, not The Pub Landlord, the conservative Englishman with animosity toward the French and the Germans, who Murray has been playing for 25 years.

Apparently, this has caused some confusion in the past.

This could be attributed to the fact that many people do not realise that The Pub Landlord is indeed a character.

However, this doesn’t seem to bother Murray too much.

“Some people think the earth’s flat,” he says.

“If you’re doing satire you have to run that risk.

“What can I do otherwise? Come out a wearing as badge that says ‘trust me, I’m a comedian’?

“It’s an essential risk of doing comedic satire. If you’re going to portray something, you’ve got to depict it accurately.”

The Pub Landlord character was created backstage at the Edinburgh Festival “to fill a ten-minute gap in a show.”

Speaking today, Murray still seems amazed by the enduring success of the hastily-created character.

“I didn’t know if I’d be doing it the next night, so to still be doing it 25 years later really is amazing,” he says.

“Thank God I didn’t plan it. It did just sort of spring into life. It was luck. Pure luck”

Part of the reason Al Murray and The Pub Landlord are thought to be one and the same might be traced back to The Landlord’s 2015 campaign for the parliamentary seat of South Thanet, contested against one Nigel Farage.

He ran on a manifesto that included pledges to brick up the Channel Tunnel and that “the UK will leave Europe by 2025 and the edge of the Solar System by 2050.”

He won 318 votes, but Murray doesn’t view the campaign as a failure.

Politics have long proved fertile ground for The Pub Landlord, with Brexit being a point of particular interest.

His latest show was originally written in March 2019, “when it looked like we were going to go No Deal.” But a Brexit delay followed, and the show had to be rewritten.

“No one was thinking of the comedians”, he jokes.

Making comedy out of an issue that has divided a nation without alienating half of your audience is no mean feat.

“Nifty footwork is required,” Murray says genially. “The challenge of it as a comic has been really interesting.”

“What this whole thing says about us is more interesting than what Boris Johnson said yesterday or what Jeremy Corbyn might be saying next week.

“The thing that’s interesting is why they feel the need to say those things?”

Interesting, certainly, though not particularly funny yet, but then I am interviewing the genial and nuanced Al Murray, not the character who, on the same subject, says: “One last heave and we will be there. When the going gets tough the tough get going. Although the going won’t get tough and anyone who tells you it is going to be tough is lying.”

The show itself promises to be quite different.

Landlord of Hope and Glory will be at Brighton Theatre Royal on November 15.