Former champion boxer, Ricky Grover promises his comedy night in Mill Hill will pack a punch.

“My show is pretty much like me, which is all over the place,” laughs the 53-year-old Barnet resident, who was crowned Amateur London Boxing Champion Light Heavyweight at 18.

He admits he never knows what’s going to feature in his routine until he gets on stage, but the dad-of-one has a loose game plan in mind.

“What makes people laugh is insecurity,“ says the former hairdresser. “When you open up a bit you find that we’re all the same. I think dancing with your fear is a good thing to do.“

Growing up Ricky discovered he had a talent for boxing and quickly garnered the fearsome title of Ricky ’Goodnight’ Grover thanks to his powerful punch.

Although, his skills as a ladies’ hairdresser may have been more frightening than his boxing.

“I was boxer and a hairdresser at the same time, so I’d be cutting people’s hair with big black eyes,“ he laughs.

“I don’t think I was that good but I never got any complaints – I think they had a look at me and thought: ’I’ll have it the way it is thank you, that’s fine!’"

Out of the ring, Ricky battled a life-long struggle with dyslexia and learned to read and write in his early 30s.

He overcame his illiteracy after meeting a teacher at a theatre in Stratford in east London where he went on to put on his first play, Punch.

“My biggest nightmare is to read out loud, but she got this book and got me to read what I could and she would help me,“ recalls Ricky.

Punch, a story about boxing, was spotted by a director who turned it into a short film which went on to win awards.

“If you’ve got problems like that don’t let anything hold you back,“ advises Ricky, who is returning to his East End roots after being invited to East Ham College to speak with students struggling with learning difficulties.

“When I did my play, I didn’t even have a script, I just improvised it. There’s ways round anything.“

Ricky’s showbiz career took off and he now boasts acting credits in TV shows such as Red Dwarf, Black Books, Getting On and Guy Richie’s crime drama Revolver.

But the jewel in this East Londoner’s crown was his stint on iconic BBC soap EastEnders, in which he played Andrew Cotton, love interest of the ill-fated Heather Trott.

“As soon as you do EastEnders, being from where I’m from, you’ve made it,“ he says, proudly.

“If I spoke to my aunt Rose or someone, they would go: ’You’ve cracked it’.“

Mill Hill Comedy Bunker, Mill Hill Golf Club, Barnet Way, Mill Hill, Thursday, May 21, 8pm. Details: 020 8959 2339,