Preview: Ross Noble, Edinburgh Playhouse

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GEORDIE comedian Ross Noble is a regular on TV comedy shows such as QI and Have I Got News For You, and he recently broke into films with The Hunt For Tony Blair and Stitches.

But the wild-haired one returns to his first love of stand-up at the Playhouse tonight, with a brand new show entitled Mindbender.

“I’m selective about the TV that I say yes to,” explains the 36-year-old funnyman. “I’ve done Have I Got News For You about 17 times, and I finally said yes to QI last season. But live is just what I do.

“Don’t get me wrong, it’s great that there’s a platform for stand-up like there has never been before, but I just think if you chase an audience and put bums on seats with your fame, the people who come to see you might be there to be in the room with you and not necessarily to listen to what you have to say.”

Noble is known for audience participation - but he promises that anyone sitting in the front row needn’t worry.

“Audience participation sounds horrible,” he says. “It’s like I’m putting them on stage and making fun of them. I hate all that. It’s not for me. I don’t like picking on people. I want people to feel involved.”

That’s not to say he’s giving the green light to hecklers.

“If people want to shout stuff out, I encourage them. But I guess it’s within reason. If I’m in the middle of a flow and ideas are spinning off and people suddenly shout out some random rubbish, that’s annoying for me but it’s the audience that gets really wound up.”

Ross Noble, Edinburgh Playhouse, Greenside Place, tonight, 8pm, £25, 0844-871 3014