Robin Ince doesn’t want to give you what you want. He wants to give you more than that. Famous for his brand of science-based comedy, he wants to fight against the “dumbing down“ of popular culture and has teamed up with fellow stand-up Josie Long to bring audiences something outside the mainstream.

The duo, who met on the comedy circuit 16 years ago when Josie was just a teenager, will be bringing the stage version of their Comedy Central podcast Utter Shambles to Jacksons Lane this week.

Robin says: “It’s been a very long time since I was there. I remember it as a legendary place in Time Out listings when I was going to gigs.

“Last time probably wasn’t this century. I helped someone out with their university course and talked about what a stand-up was and explained I had no idea what I was talking about and I have continued to have no idea what I’m talking about all these years later.“ Don’t believe that for a second as this self-depreciating Chorleywood-born boy has forged a hugely successful career, which will see him perform at least five different comedy tours this year.

When it comes to Utter Shambles he says you can expect “off the cuff conversations and just taking whatever idea was in our heads“, which will range from sexual politics and the right of women to breastfeed in public to extracts from killer crab novels, ranting about the awfulness of the Doctor Who afterparty and how Michael Gove makes the blood vessels in his eyeballs burst.

The dad-of-one, who admires V for Vendetta writer Alan Moore, says: “There’s a presumption in the mainstream media that people are thick and just want colourful things that don’t challenge them. They just give them more celebrities in the jungle and Lee Ryan in a hot tub.“ He adds: “I think there’s a fear of challenging people. But I love the old BBC idea, the classic line of Lord Reith (first director general of the BBC) was when asked if he was going to give people what they wanted, he replied: ‘No, I’m going to give them something far better than that’.

“I think taking that risk of failure and talking about that weird poem you have found from a strange book, quite often you find audiences will listen to what you have to say. I think people are often being undersold a lot of the time.“ Robin, who is well know for his BBC Radio 4 radio show The Infinite Monkey Cage with Professor Brian Cox, says working with Josie provides a nice respite to his solo shows and adds: “I just love the experience of standing on stage with someone else where you are just mucking around. You enjoy the experience of being with them and laughing with them on stage and coming up with ridiculous ideas together and creating something that in one way will only exist for one night.“ The Sherlock fan, who lives in Berkhamsted, says Josie also encourages him to keep pushing his own boundaries.

“It’s very easy in stand-up to go “oh well I’ve got my set that works“ and stick to that and ten years later you realise you are saying the same things. So to work with people that take risks reminds you to take risks as well.

“I’m don’t go abseiling or bungee jumping, so the one thing I can do is risk it on stage.“

Jacksons Lane, Archway Road, Highgate, Friday, January 17, 8pm. Details: 020 8341 4421, Laura Enfield