Identity theft is no joke – the government puts the cost of this particular type of fraud at between £1.5 and £1.7 billion a year.

And yet comedian Bennett Arron, himself a victim of stolen identity, manages to see the funny side in his new show It Wasn’t Me, It Was Bennett Arron. In the show he recounts the series of bizarre experiences that over the course of a decade, left him homeless, penniless and resulted in a jail sentence.

“The last thing I expected was to do a comedy show about it,” explains Bennett, “I was about to buy my first home in north London when I received a letter from the bank saying they’d discovered I had huge debts and couldn’t go ahead with the mortgage. We lost the house and my wife was pregnant at the time.

“It turned out I’d been a victim of identity theft, apparently someone had fraudulently run up debts through home shopping catalogues and mobile phone companies using my name. I didn’t know about it because on my bank statements there was nothing to see, but it affected my credit rating and it took me two years to clear my name.”

Making a living as a freelance comedian and comedy writer wasn’t easy, especially while raising a family and living with relatives, but Bennett’s successful career spans acting in shows such as Not Tonight With John Sergeant, Glee Time and Large, and writing for The 11 O' Clock Show, Commercial Breakdown and the BAFTA- winning shows V Graham Norton and Slammer. He also wrote the majority of episodes for the hit children’s show Genie in The House.

Meanwhile, as therapy, he wrote a comedy show about identity fraud, which went on to critical acclaim at the Edinburgh Fringe.

“It was cathartic. I expected to do it for three nights and we went on to do a full run at Edinburgh. Then Channel 4 asked me to do a documentary about it and that’s where it all went wrong. I stole the identity of the (then) Home Secretary Charles Clarke to prove how easy it was to do and CID did a dawn raid on my home.

“I didn’t know what was happening and it scary having your door banged on at 6am, but once I’d got over the initial shock the experience was just surreal. I found humour in that eventually.”

The show is at the New End Theatre, Hampstead to Monday, March 15 (Saturday at 9.30pm, Sunday and Monday 7.30pm only). Details: 0870 033 2733