When Richard Woolford’s family pull their crackers this Christmas there will be none of the usual moans and groans at the awful jokes inside – well maybe a few, it’s tradition after all.

Inside his special box of festive novelties is a joke the budding Muswell Hill comedian penned himself, which has bagged him fame (for at least five minutes) and a small fortune (£5,000 to be exact).

’What is this genius pun?’ I hear you cry. Here goes.

What’s Miley Cyrus having for Christmas dinner? Twerky.

Richard dreamt up the festive rib-tickler for a competition run by classic comedy television channel Gold.

“At first I couldn’t think of anything,“ says the former Archway resident, “but then ended up entering about 35 times. That joke was the first I wrote, so they obviously all went downhill after that.“ The projectionist at the Empire in Leicester Square says: “I was just thinking how to update Christmas cracker jokes and knew all the young people know about Miley. I asked some old people who she was and they said “oh she’s the one who twerks“.

The north Londoner says of winning: “I’m totally amazed and can’t believe it. I now hope twerking becomes a new Christmas tradition – are you listening nan?“ But what does he think the infamous Miss Miley Cyrus will make of his pun?

“She is a joke,“ he says.

“Obviously I would like to thank her because without her I wouldn’t be here talking to you know.“ Richard was always the joker growing up in Stevenage and went to the Edinburgh Festival in 2005. But he put his comedy career on hold after being diagnosed with stage four Hodgkin’s lymphoma.

“It’s crazy stuff,“ he says, a serious note entering his voice, “but I think when you are positive it helps you get cope with things like that.

“You don’t think you can get through it but joking about it gets you through.”

Thankfully he was given the all clear last year and says: “I feel like I can get on with stuff now.

“I have been doing open mic gigs and starting off small and hopefully I will get somewhere.“ His cracker joke has definitely put him on the radar, and the 36-year-old says: “It’s very weird. I was in pretty much all the papers, on TV, and The Wright Stuff and even Richard Madeley laughed at it, so it must be good.“ So what will he be spending all his lovely cash on? Christmas presents?

“Because it was made from being stupid I suppose I should spend it on something sensible, so me and my wife Rachelle might get a flat.“ And will he be cracking his famous pun for his family this Christmas?

“As long as my nan starts to twerk, I will do it.

“No, no, no I’m joking I don’t want that to happen. Oh dear, mental image.“ We’ll end on that.