IT’S the moment when most of us would lose our temper – and end up starring in an airport reality TV show.

After flying 12,000 miles from London to Australia, a smirking official tells you a slight tear in your passport means you are being refused entry.

However, for comedian, Mark Watson, the prospect of being sent home on the next flight was just another situation he could turn into part of his award-winning show, I’m Not Here.

“The show is structured around this journey to Australia where I wasn’t sure whether I was going to be allowed in at the other end because of a passport issue,” explains Mark.

“The guy at Heathrow said ‘we can let you on the plane but it will be at their discretion whether or not they let you in’. The passport was totally valid but it had a tiny rip in the photo page, and this would technically render it invalid.”

Luckily for Mark – and his audiences – he can turn such a troublesome scenario to his advantage, using it as the trigger for another stand-up tour.

The passport panic got him pondering on what this meant in terms of who and what we are as 21st-century human beings.

“I started thinking about how we have fewer and fewer physical proofs of our identity. In the old days you wouldn’t have had a problem with this scenario as you’d have a plane ticket and dozens of forms of identity,” he adds.

“The show has become about the shift from the physical to the virtual and the fact that more and more of the objects that we used to depend on have been replaced by ideas of objects.

“I’ve always had a lot of personal anecdotes, but it’s all generally been quite light. I think I’m gradually trying to tweak things towards darkness. My last show, which was called Flaws, was one-off confessional territory but I’m quite likely to talk about all that again this time.”

Somerset County Gazette:

Hitting a high volume of laughs-per-hour has never been one of Mark Watson’s problems from the moment he arrived on the stand-up scene straight out of Footlights.

He went on to appear in numerous TV shows including Dave’s Road to Rio, BBC’s We Need Answers, Live At The Apollo, Mock The Week and Have I Got News For You, and his own cult Radio 4 series, Mark Watson Makes The World Substantially Better.

“I tend not to regard some subjects as off-limits these days, and I’ve probably got more confidence that the audience are more interested in hearing what I want to talk about rather than me desperately trying to think about what’s funny and going with that,” explains Mark.

“Having said that I’ve always tried to maintain that no matter how serious the territory you get into, the obligation is to try and get a lot of laughs.”

Even when he’s offering a relatively straightforward stand-up show, Mark will always throw in something a little off-kilter.

In Flaws, he recreated the sound and fury of a children’s party he had attended (with the added terror of balloons being burst all around him), and he’s looking to insert something similar (and hush-hush for now) to break up the one-man-with-a-mic flow.

“I do like to seriously disrupt proceedings. I’ve always thought that an hour of someone just talking has its downsides, so my tactic is to get it far enough in that the audience do think it’s just going to be an hour of someone talking, but then do something really weird.

“It can backfire, though, because that thing with the kids party was fun for a bit. But then on tour, you’re doing it another 60 times with my crew having to blow up balloons and the routine ending with my nightmare of having them explode all around me.”

As well as the stand-up shows, Mark has a number of novels to his name. But does he see himself continuing to perform on live stages for many years to come?

“It’s a question I ask myself because there’s no real template for it. I don’t think I’d ever want to stop being a live performer, but it’s hard to know what the longevity is for this career. If you’re able to say things that are still relevant as you get older, then I think you’re in business.”

The Brewhouse. Friday, June 24 at 8pm.