Artists and performers cite many motivations for wanting to head out on tour but few will be as refreshingly honest as comedian Dylan Moran.

The 43-year-old father-of-two told News Shopper: “Partly it’s because I go a bit funny if I haven’t been out of the house doing it for a while.

“I get a bit grumpy and start walking around opening cupboards not knowing what I’m doing.”

What gets the Irishman out of the house is also good news for audiences because his new stand-up tour Off The Hook comes to Dartford’s Orchard Theatre on March 31.

As for what the show is about, that’s a more nebulous concept.

He said: “There is a theme but I don’t know what it is.

“It’s deliberately messy because I feel that life is quite messy right now. For everybody.

“Everybody feels like their attentions spans are being trashed every second of every day. It is partly about the sense of acceleration we are all experiencing.”

So modern technology and social media will doubtless be in the firing line?

“Yes. And also the new and ever expanding levels of horror in the news,” Dylan said. “Along with the equally insane levels of triviality in other non-news that we’re offered simultaneously.

“It’s a classic recipe for a schizoid planet.”

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Dylan (in the middle) in Shaun of the Dead

Having started in comedy at a young age, Dylan was the youngest winner of the Edinburgh Fringe’s Perrier Comedy Award when he won in 1996 at the age of 24.

While he still advocates scribbling ideas on napkins rather than sitting down with a blank sheet of paper to write a new show, he does feel he is more considered in his approach to comedy.

He said: “I feel like at this time of life you want to get into the workings of something.

“It’s a bit like taking a radio apart and putting it back together again. I think that happens to people, they want to see how things operate.”

Whether that has made him a better stand-up, Dylan doesn’t know.

He added: “All I know is I didn’t think about it as a youngster. I just went on stage and talked. Now I see what it is about and why people do it.

“It is ape-like – it is just an ape telling other apes about the crazy size of bananas around the corner.”

To many, Dylan is perhaps most famous for the BAFTA winning sitcom Black Books which he starred in as the misanthropic bookshop owner Bernard Black and co-wrote with Graham Linehan.

He is also familiar for an impressive back-catalogue of films which include Shaun of the Dead and Calvary.

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Dylan starred in The Actors with Michael Caine

But stand-up is where Dylan’s heart is.

He said: “In a childish way, it is far more gratifying.

“You do a bit in a film or you write something, it is there and it is by itself and it is enjoyed by someone miles away.

“There is a huge, childish, egocentric glee with stand-up because you get to be there when the person laughs.”

Though he admits he is picky, he said he remains open to the right film project but currently has no plans to write another TV sitcom.

One place you are unlikely to ever see him is on comedy TV panel shows.

He said: “I have had offers but I have always said no. I wouldn’t say yes to that, I would rather go down the mines to be honest. I don’t like organised fun.”

Dylan Moran as Bernard Black in Black Books

As well as years of touring, his TV work has yielded a large and committed fanbase.

Dylan said: “People can be very, very enthusiastic.

“The vast majority of people are extremely nice – they send you things, give you drawings or food or bottles of wine and that kind of thing.”

As someone known for playing an alcoholic on Black Books, it is easy to imagine Dylan receiving more than his fair share of booze.

He said: “It peaked. I think it passed, thankfully.

“Now it has turned to cake. I really don’t want any cake.

“Don’t bring cake, for Christ’s sake. I gave up smoking earlier on in the year, I really don’t want cake.”

Dylan Moran’s new show Off The Hook is at The Orchard Theatre, Dartford, on March 31. Tickets cost £25. Go to or call 01322 220000.