Inveterate funnyman Alan Davies is uncharacteristically downbeat when I ask him why he decided, two years ago, to go back on the road after a 12-year hiatus.
“I never thought I’d stop doing stand-up for so long but there was a few things I was doing that I really enjoyed,” he says.
“I was in a series called Whites where I played the chef but it got cancelled. I wrote a book which took six months to write and not enough people bought it. It was really hard work with a lot of time on your own.
“And then I was doing Podcasts with friends which was good fun and we were having a laugh, but there as no money in it.
“I thought I need to combine these things to do something where I can earn a living so I thought ‘why don’t I do stand up again’. That’s what I think of as my job, really.”
So, in 2012, he returned to stand-up with a huge national tour of the show ‘Life is Pain’ which was an unqualified success; glowing tributes scattering like confetti.
He had so much fun he’s doing it all again with ‘Little Victories’ which comes to Leeds Town Hall on Thursday October 30.
“When I looked at all the notes from my first show I realised I had lots of material left so began working on this show while touring the other one,” he says.
Davies admits that he thinks he’s a better comedian now than when he was first starting out.
“It’s a more personal show, more truthful maybe. There were elements of that in my last show but it’s all like that now. I have a point of view and more things to say.
“But to be honest, it feels like you ought to have that by the time you’re in your late 40s,” he laughs, far more upbeat than when we began our conversation.
He warns though that, although there’s plenty of frivolity and daftness in the show, some people used to his QI persona may find his act a ‘bit of an eye opener’.
Davies rates Bill Cosby and Dave Allen as some of his favourite stand-up comedians.
“ I saw them in the 1990s and they were in their sixties,” he says.
“There’s something to be said for saving those life experiences, absorbing and distilling them.”
Although Davies won’t be able to get home to his wife and young family while appearing in Leeds he’s looking forward to catching up with friends.
“While I was a student I had a girlfriend from Pontefract and used to go to Wake, Ponte, Cas and Fev for nights out – I remember a pub in Normanton that had a music licence but no dance licence so the DJ played records and we all sat around and listened.”