Russell Kane is about to perform his first gig at the Edinburgh Festival Fringe. He is buzzing with excitement but not at all nervous, as he is well rehearsed.

"The best way to sum it up is full-on comic assault," he says of his comedy style. "Get help if you're in the front row. I can be very rude. Extreme observational humour I call it. High energy. It's what happens when I pick up the mic."

He was not always destined to be a comedian. In fact, despite numerous TV appearances and his Edinburgh dates, he still works full-time as a advertising copywriter.

Kane, one of last year's Perrier Award nominees, manages to juggle the two careers by only socialising with his cats and his girlfriend, Yasmin, who, perhaps unsurprisingly, he met through work.

"They comedy and work are so bloody similar, it's using the same part of my brain so it's not like taking a break," he says. "But I don't think of comedy as work."

He was given unpaid leave to go to the festival. "I have had quite a meteoric introduction," says the Enfield joker. "Normally you wouldn't be doing Edinburgh for a couple of years into your career. But Avalon, my agents, do a brilliant job looking after me".

The self-titled working-class boy made good' actually changed his name to Lord Russell Grineau (his actual surname) by deed poll. His bemused mother had to sign the document for him.

Kane did it as part of his university dissertation, as well as for a laugh. It was a study into Britain's (and his own) obsession with class.

He grew up as the son of a lagger (installation engineer) in a council estate in Brimsdown, Enfield, and went to nearby schools, Chesterfield Primary and Bishop Stopford Secondary.

"My whole life should have been the normal Brimsdown working-class boy's route," he explains. "I just about passed my GCSEs and didn't get my A-levels, which was pretty normal for Brimsdown. I started my normal working life selling Rolex watches to rich people.

"Then I had what I call my reverse nervous breakdown I was probably going clubbing too much at the weekend or something. All of a sudden I realised I wanted something more for my life. I'd seen some of the close friends I had going to university.

"I was selling my watches to their parents as graduation presents. This made me angry. I sent off for an application to study A-levels. I passed them all.

"And when I went to Middlesex University to study literature and creative writing, I was the only one on my course to get a first.

"It was a vocational fuel injection. It was at that point, in 2000, when I first appeared in the Enfield Independent. By then I was obsessed by class. So I changed my title to lord by deed poll. People would nod their heads deferentially when I gave them my credit card in the supermarket. I did get a reasonable bit of PR about it. I could have called myself doctor, as long as I didn't try to practise as a doctor.

"Then I thought I will do a job which has the summers off, so I could write. I thought I'd be a teacher. But then my tutor recommended that I applied for this ad agency job. I did four weeks work experience. I'm now head copywriter and that was five years ago."

It was only over the past couple of years that Kane decided to turn his writing skills to comedy.

"I thought, That's it. working class boy made good,' so I upped and moved to Clapham," he says. "Then this comedy thing comes into my life and throws it all into disarray. This is the is stuff dreams are made of.

"I thought I'd never do it. Twenty-eight is quite late to do your first gig. In my group of friends I was always told I was the funny one. I thought I was, but to an intelligent person that doesn't necessarily mean you have to get up on stage and do it. But I did an open mic spot. Within three months I was signed to Avalon.

"It's just been brilliant. I'm doing some really exciting projects at the moment."

He is talking about taking part in the World Comedy Tour 2005 in Australia, his recent stint at Avalon's Comedy Zone, at the Pleasance Theatre, Edinburgh, and a series of sketches he is doing as promotional material on the Paramount Comedy Channel.

But despite the high profile comedy gigs, Kane is still looking forward to coming back to Enfield to perform at Roar with Laughter.

"It's brilliant I like it because I know the area," he says. "It's nice because I can drop all the references in the act.

"The act is pretty filthy in places, so obviously my mum in the audience can be off-putting."

But somehow it is not likely this will calm him down.

* See Russell Kane perform alongside Reg C Hunter, Scott Denyer and Rhod Gilbert at Roar with Laughter Comedy Club, Bar Form, Genotin Road, Enfield, on Thursday, September 1. Comedy starts at 9pm.

Tickets are £6 (members), £7 (non-members), available at the door or in advance on 07906 868503.