Comedy is a drug for Russell Kane and first time he made an audience laugh was "like a needle slipping into the vein".

The skinny-limbed, big-haired comedian is on tour with his latest show Smallness, dissecting why us Brits are all a bunch of scrunched- up, flattened down repressed people. Except him that is.

He is the Enfield boy who threw off his working class roots to get a first at Middlesex University, the Jedward-quiffed funnyman who got a high flying job at an advertising agency and then jacked it all in to tell jokes.

The fact he was the Edinburgh Comedy Award Winner in 2010 would suggest he made the right decision. So does this larger-than-life character have any regrets?

“I absolutely love what I do. Every day I wake up feeling like a really lucky b*****d. But if I had never done that first gig, I would probably be a respectable, middle-class person with a good job and steady wage.

“We all know where this is headed, I’ll end up with a kangaroo testicle in my mouth or in the Big Brother house in a leotard just to pay my mortgage.”

For the moment, though, he is definitely on the right track, with his show Live at the Electric just starting its third series on BBC3 and new chat show Staying In with Greg James launching at the end of last year.

Not bad for a boy who was raised in Brimsdown by a dad who was a labourer and mum who was a cleaner.

The former Bishop Stopford’s School pupil was always the joker and says of his secondary education: “It was waste of time. I would have been better off staying at home from 11 years old and reading books.“ So he left the Enfield school at 16, got a job and was “headed for greyness“ when he started dating an older girl who was at university and realised he had been “cheated“.

So he smashed his way through a psychology A-level, an English degree at Middlesex University, and leapt into the world of advertising. He quickly rose up the ad-man ranks and got a flat in Clapham.

But he still couldn’t sit still, so when his friends pointed out he was “quite funny“ he decided to perform his first gig in front of 300 people at The Comedy Club in London The fast-talking 33-year-old says: “I Googled places that did open mics and that was the first one that came up.

“I had no concept whatsoever of what stand-up was. I thought it was still like Roy Chubby Brown and stuff my dad laughed at and I just told some stories.

“I got a laugh in the middle and it was like a needle slipping into the vein.

“I did my second gig and it went really well, and I was hooked.“ Leap forward to 2014 and the Epping Forest resident is halfway through his Smallness tour, which aims to dissect the nature of our nation.

“This is my funniest show,“ he says.

“It’s about us being introverted and looking down on the floor and not gesticulating.

“There are lots of things we Brits do which are abnormal compared to other cultures. In Britain, staring is so rude, but isn’t in other countries.

“And we only gesture with our forearms, the rest is dead, whereas other nations wave their arms around.

“And we cheer when someone drops a glass. That’s so uptight.

“The reason you see all those Brits off their faces in Faliraki is because we’re so repressed usually.

“There are always exceptions though and I’m like that.“ The caffeine addict, who is also an avid reader and television viewer, says: “It’s definitely my personality you see on stage. I don’t make my stories up. I never stop thinking. My best trait is energy. My shows are all full of it.

“It’s also my worst. I never stop, I’m never calm. It’s a blessing and a curse and drives me mad.“ l Alban Arena, Civic Centre, St Albans, Friday, March 2, 8pm. Details: 01727 844488,