Luckily comedian Terry Alderton is used to thinking on his feet because he certainly needed to the last time he played at Greenwich Comedy Festival.
The surreal comic is set to return to the festival on September 27, on the same bill as Mottingham’s Rob Beckett and Elis James.
He said: “Last time I was there I did a routine with my shoes where I lay on my back and make my feet talk and I started getting really aggressively heckled by some guy.
“It was quite funny that actually he was arguing aggressively with my feet. My shoes just looked at each other and said ‘what’s his problem’.
“It was hilarious. All those that got it thought it was hilarious. All those who thought it was s*** probably thought it was still s***. I love it.”
Formerly a straightforward - but brilliant - gag man, Terry was nominated for the Perrier Award in 1999 and had stints presenting prime time TV but turned his back (literally) on the mainstream in 2005 to pursue a more anarchic style which often involves facing away from the audience and letting the madcap voices of his inner demons escape.
It’s worked – his Edinburgh shows in 2009, 2010, 2011 and 2012 all sold out.
Terry, 43, said: “A lot of stuff gets spoonful out on telly for the masses. A lot of people want more anarchy.
“I had my time in the mainstream but for various reasons didn’t capitalise. I really should have been McIntyre before McIntyre if truth be known.
“I dropped out and did want I really wanted to do and then everyone wanted Mickey Flanagan. There’s a lot of fashion.
“There are nights I still absolutely rock the place but when I was the old me, I would absolutely smash the f**k out of the place.
“I think the old me was like a fast food – it was there and for the moment – but I hope what I do now is more nourishing.”
Nowadays, he doesn’t think twice about a skit with no punchlines where he discusses, say, the height of buses.
He said: “You just hope the audience will go off with those things and just find the joy and the fun in the fact that this is just nonsense and go with it.
“Some people say ‘I don’t get what you do’, and that’s because there’s nothing to get.”
While he blazing a trail with his stand-up, a lot of people will recognise him from his performance as taxi driver Terry Spraggan on EastEnders over the past year.
Unfortunately for Terry, just as he felt he was getting into his stride, he was written out after his on-screen love interest Bianca left the show.
He said: “I didn’t want to go in it at the beginning. I was too cool for school.
“The irony now is I wish I could just stay in it. I loved it. I enjoyed it and enjoyed the consistency in my life.
He added: “When you go in, it is a rabbit in the headlights. After a few months, which is really now, you are much more relaxed.
“I kept my hand in with stand-up just in case it went, and it did, so it was lucky I did.”
Greenwich Comedy Festival is at the National Maritime Museum from September 24 to 28. Go to greenwichcomedyfestival.co.uk