Over the years, Marcus Brigstocke has had many different jobs. He has, among many other things, been an oil rig worker, a podium dancer and chief beverages operator at Little Chef. And yet, there is no doubt what Marcus’s all-time favourite job is: stand-up comedy.

Which is why he’s embarking on a national tour and coming to artsdepot with his coruscating new show entitled Je m’accuse – I am Marcus.

Marcus has previously been known as the sharpest political comedian in town. On stage, radio and television, he has proved a scintillating satirist.

But in this show, which has already played to acclaim at the 2013 Edinburgh Fringe and enjoyed a sell-out residency at London’s Soho Theatre, Marcus says, “Screw politics!“ Instead, he turns his attention to an equally fascinating subject: himself.

The award-winning comedian runs through his absorbing life-story which has included periods as, in his own words, “a food addict, musical theatre enthusiast, posh, eco-hypocritic, goth and Muppets fan.“ A man gifted with a rare natural wit, Marcus makes for magnetic company. He is naturally hilarious on any subject under the sun, but – and this is his most appealing trait – some of his very best jokes are aimed at himself.

Marcus has made Radio 4 his second home, with regular appearances on programmes such as The Now Show and Just a Minute.

The comedian, who earlier this year made a huge impact on The Jump, Channel 4’s sports entertainment show, begins by underscoring that nothing beats the sheer thrill of stand-up.

“Oh man,“ he exclaims, “it’s the best artistic transaction you can make. I remember the very first time I ever did stand-up. I entered an open-mike comedy competition for Kiss FM at a club in Holborn in central London.

“It was absolutely terrifying. The first four minutes went very badly, but the last three minutes went very well. I came second in the competition and thought, ’That’ll do!’ I still remember thinking as I put the mic back on its stand, ’Holy cow, if I can do this for the rest of my life, I’ll be very happy. This is the thing I want to do now’. I still feel that.“

Marcus, who has also starred in such TV shows as Argumental (on which he was a team captain), The Late Edition and I’ve Never Seen Star Wars, adds that, “the first time you do a show and it hits the mark, I can’t tell you how great that feels. If you do something that makes someone else laugh, that’s such a good feeling – second only to someone else making you laugh. It’s such a beautiful arrangement.

“I like the fact that the deal is so straightforward. If you’re not laughing, I’m not doing my job. I’ll say something funny, you’ll laugh, and everybody’s happy. There aren’t really words to describe how wonderful that is. Stand-up still makes me really happy. I love it. It’s great, man!“

Marcus, who recently garnered rave reviews for his performance as King Arthur in the West End and touring productions of the award-winning hit musical Spamalot, goes on to discuss the genesis of Je m’accuse - I am Marcus.

“There is the slightly ugly truth that I turned 40 this year, and that makes one a little reflective.

“I realised that for my Je m’accuse – I am Marcus I could tell a bunch of stories from my life which are funny, silly and joyful.“

Marcus admits that with the new show he has had to manage some fans’ expectations.

“Certain people come expecting the latest, teeth-gnashing bile about UKIP. But very quickly I say, ’We’re going another way this time’. The response from audiences has been joyous.

“I’ll get back to satire. I’ve done six episodes of The Brig Society for Radio 4 – that’s my ranting for this year.“

The second half of Je m’accuse – I am Marcus is a tour de force, recounting how as a 17-year-old he made an astonishing recovery from addictions to food, drink and drugs. It is a bravura piece of stand-up that climaxes in a stunning coup de theatre.

“It’s a great big story. I’ve never told it before because then the press want you to be the ’tragic alcoholic’ or the ’eating disorders guy’. That’s not me.

“I had five years of drinking and I’ve now had 24 years clean. So I just felt it was about time I told the story. But I don’t want anyone to feel sorry for me. It’s not an inspiring tale of a remarkable turnaround. It’s just something that happened. “

The stand-up, who insists that every story in Je m’accuse – I am Marcus is “100 per cent true“, admits that beforehand, “I was nervous. I was not sure if I could pull it off. It was a gamble and a huge shift for me.“ He carries on that, “one of the best pieces of advice I ever got was, ’Never compare your insides to other people’s outsides.’

“Everyone presents to the world an image that they want other people to see. I present an image as an intellectually curious ranter, but Je m’accuse - I am Marcus shows a very different side to me.  

Before we part, I ask the stand-up to sum up the show. “It’s very silly,“ he concludes, “but it puts a big smile on my face.“

  • Je m’accuse – I am Marcus is at artsdepot, Nether Street Tally Ho Corner North Finchley, on Saturday, December 13, 8pm. Details: 020 8369 5454 , artsdepot.co.uk