Interviewing Josh Widdicombe – acclaimed stand-up, serial panellist and star of shows including The Last Leg, Hypothetical and his own sitcom Josh – means a chance to tackle the big questions. So here’s one of those questions – Josh, what’s the biggest misconception people have about the county of Devon?

Widdicombe – a proud Devonian and Plymouth Argyle fan – laughs and ponders. “I think that it’s far away is one. It’s only two hours away from London, people talk like it’s Alabama.”

In some ways, he says, the stereotypes about the south-west being the back of beyond are way out of date. “Exeter has an Apple store. Let’s be very clear about that. On the other side of the coin, I did go to a school where there were four people in my year.”

Gigs in Exeter and Plymouth (“it feels like a homecoming”) are among the highlights for Widdicombe of his upcoming UK tour, which comes to Watford Colosseum on Friday, April 17. It’s his first in a while - and he’s enthusiastic about getting back into the habit.

“For the first time since I started doing stand up, I had some time off,” he explains, “and I absolutely needed it. I’d been doing stand up for eight years, and I’d kind of forgotten why I was doing it.”

Now he’s rediscovered his love of the artform, and wants to make the new show a distillation of the very best he’s capable of. “I wanted to do the best ‘pure me’ stand up show, and see if I could do 80 minutes that was just – “unremitting” is the wrong word,” he laughs. “But I like the idea of a show being almost relentless. I think when you watch Michael McIntyre, it feels relentless.”

What that has meant is a laser-like focus on eliminating any joke that doesn’t come up to scratch.

“In the warm-ups if I’m not loving anything, I just drop it straight away. You know that Marie Kondo woman who says get rid of everything that doesn’t spark joy? I think that’s a really good way of writing a stand-up show.”

While he’s focused on quality control, Widdicombe isn’t reinventing himself on this tour – if you like what he does, then rest assured that’s what you’re going to get. Premium quality observational comedy, served up with an incredible eye for detail. Don’t expect him to be banging on about Trump or Brexit – Widdicombe’s much more exercised by the smaller things in life.

“That’s what makes me laugh, do you know what I mean? It’s different strokes for different folks, but I’d much rather watch Frank Skinner or Sean Lock than I’d watch a highly politicised hour of stand up.”

On TV, Widdicombe’s well-known for his contributions to panel games – as a regular on Mock The Week, a captain on Insert Name Here, and a co-host of Dave’s Hypothetical. Why does he thrive in that kind of environment?

“I just really enjoy it. Mainly, it’s having a laugh with your mates. My favourite panel shows are the ones where you’re all having a laugh and you’re just in the moment. Reacting in the room rather than trying to get your jokes out. And it’s a lovely way to earn a living, it’s as simple as that.”

When we spoke, Widdicombe was en route to another of his TV commitments, Channel 4’s The Last Leg. It’s a show that started out as late night filler during the 2012 Paralympics, and has gradually become one of the network’s comedy heavyweights. How does something like that happen?

“The first secret of the show’s success is that it had no pressure on it at the start.”

Instead, the format and the chemistry between regulars Adam Hills, Alex Brooker and Widdicombe was allowed to develop organically.

“It was just a late night show that was allowed to – it sounds as though I’m looking for a pun – it was allowed to find its feet. I think people like to spend time with the three of us,” Widdicombe says.

If it seems like a career that rarely pauses for breath, that suits Widdicombe. “I think I’m really easily bored,” he says. “The great thing about what I do is I can do different things and not get bored of it.”

He says his plan from now on is to try and do something new every year. But right now, he doesn’t know what those things are. So often in his career – with The Last Leg, or with his cult 90s football podcast Quickly Kevin Will He Score – the biggest successes have been unlikely propositions.

So he doesn’t have a bucket list of career ambitions. “I don’t think I’ve got any kind of weird dreams. Like, I wouldn’t suddenly go, ‘Yeah, actually, my dream is to be in EastEnders’. Or ‘my dream is to present Location, Location, Location’. I don’t want to be the next James Bond or anything like that.”

You say that, but it’d be quite something to see. “Oh,” he says, “if it was offered, I would take it.”

Watford Colosseum, Rickmansworth Road, Watford, Friday, April 17, 8pm. Details: 01923 571102