HERE'S how you get Sean Hughes to invite you out for a drink – apparently.

Start out by setting up an interview with him about his new show Mumbo Jumbo, which he will be taking on tour this autumn.

After a few minutes of him describing the said show “It’s about the constant battle we have between the two sides of our head, one is contents and the other I call mumbo jumbo. It’s a daily crisis", annoy him by asking if it was inspired by him turning 50 next year?

“Can you just **** right off?!“ He exclaims. “What are you trying to do to me? I don’t want to think about it.

“Autumn is horrible for me as I don’t like Halloween, or November 5, or Christmas, or New Year’s Eve, and my birthday’s in November as well, so it’s just a hailstorm of times when society tells us we should be having fun."

Not one to take a hint, I ask if he has any good advice about getting older?

“Not in an interview. I save all the good ideas for the show," he retorts.

That is the only point he seems to hold back though as he goes on to list more things he doesn’t like – Ed Sheeran “I don’t understand his appeal", the media, “a power of evil" and Emeli Sandé, “bland".

The vegetarian who is horrified by anyone who eats meat is also a keen animal rights supporter. “I’m quite principled about most things in life."

So – as well as the subject of how we look at disability and the moment he realised he was “drinking to much" – in Mumbo Jumbo he will talk about the best experience of his life, trekking with mountain gorillas in Rwanda.

“I love animals more than people."

So what kind of audience is the 49-year-old, who was the youngest winner of The Perrier Award in 1990 (aged 25), expecting at his show?

“Mostly they’re in their 50s. You wouldn’t get most of it," he says mockingly. “I have no interest in talking to young people at all. My stuff is philosophical. The last show, I did a whole section about how relationships don’t work.

“My only agenda is to speak the truth, not to tell jokes, so in general people say ’why are you bringing us down?’."

He adds: “I know my job is to make people laugh, but I will take it to extremes.

“You need a lot of experience to do that though and I always do it with a bit of charm. I know what I’m doing, but it is getting harder and harder because if you are not on television people don’t want to go and see you."

The former captain on Never Mind the Buzzcocks, who says his comedy heroes are Richard Prior and Bill Hicks, heckles me constantly as I doggedly try to glean more details about what inspires him, telling me I’ll be “s**t at speed dating" and I’m of an age where I "should know myself," as women tend to know themselves by 29, I’m “going to be a spinster" as at 35 (I’m 34) I’m “long in the tooth" and I’ve lived a “sheltered life".

Single himself, he admits his chance at a relationship has “passed him by" and he could “never live with anyone", but says like Christmas and birthdays, marriage and children is something “I have never wanted to go along with".

“There’s a line in Mumbo Jumbo where I say I’m a maverick, but a lonely maverick. But I ain’t got a problem with that."

Still, at the end of our chat he tweets me “come to north London for a drink sometime", so maybe he likes company after all.

Or maybe he was just trying out his mumbo jumbo on me.

The Old Town Hall, High Street, Old Town, Hemel Hempstead, Saturday, September 26, 8pm. Details: 01442 228091,