WHEN Ed Gamble arrived on stage at The Royal Variety Performance to deliver his sketch about a “farting massage,” he couldn’t look the Duke and Duchess of Sussex in the eye.

“I had to meet them afterwards and I thought I might be beheaded,” he laughs.

“But if you are going to perform in front of the royals I’d rather it was them. They are two of the coolest aren’t they? It was a privilege in fact.”

And were they nice? “Lovely.”

Rubbing shoulders with royalty is only part of it, though. He has also supported Greg Davies on tour, embarked on his own largely sold out tour of the country, and reached number one in the iTunes chart with his food podcast with James Acaster.

You may have also have caught Ed at the Oxford Playhouse earlier this month taking part in the charity comedy gala for Oxfordshire Mind alongside his friend Nish Kumar.

“It was so much fun. What a great night! Oxford is so comedy savvy,” he says, having given his services for free.

But Ed refutes that he is an overnight success and challenges any comedian who says so.

“There’s no such thing,” he says. “You have to learn your craft and make your mistakes.”

Ed did this at Durham University, the perfect foil for a wanna-be comedian in front of a purely student audience.

“It was perfect, performing to people you didn’t know and just having a laugh. It allowed you to be bad and make mistakes. You have to do that to get better.

“The arrogance of youth also helps.At that age you are single-minded and have no self doubt, so I never worried about whether it would work out or not for me.”

He studied philosophy.

“I think my parents were relieved when I decided to take up stand-up, because at least there was a job at the end of it.” he laughs.

“My career has been a rising trajectory. I’ve been chipping away slowly for years.

“Yes, there are more opportunities to do TV and comedy shows, charity events and so on, but my success hasn’t been overnight. I’ve been doing this for 10-12 years now, slowly getting better.”

Having toured twice with Greg, presumably the 32 year-old has been broken in the hard way, with solo touring holding no fear?

“Greg is so lovely and so welcoming,” he says. “We had such a laugh and a really great time out on the road.

“And being a support act is such a sweet deal because you haven’t earned the audience but still get to

perform to 15,000 people without any pressure.

“If it didn’t work, it didn’t matter because the audience was there to see Greg anyway, so it was a great training ground.”

“And I learned so much from him; his material is so fresh and funny. He hits all the main points.”

All of which presumably helped to finally install Ed in the spotlight in his own right.

Carving a niche, and finding your own voice is one thing, but being recognisable in this increasingly media obsessed age is another. “You need to find your own voice and that takes years. I’m only really working it out now,” he says.

“But ask me what is it that makes me stand-out and I couldn’t tell you.”

Perhaps it’s his refreshing, loud, punchy, energetic style, although Ed seems relatively unaware of his dynamic approach: “You just have to match the energy of the room,” he says. “It’s instinctive really.”

Or it’s his unpredictability, his material differing massively. “Ill take that. But I get bored otherwise. That’s why I like sparring with the audience, talking to them, getting stuck and having to work a way out of it. That’s my favourite part. But my style? Anecdotal storytelling I suppose.”

The success of his Off Menu podcasts with mate James Acaster are another surprise, the pair inviting special guests into their magical restaurant to choose their favourite starter, main course, side dish, dessert and drink.

“It has been the most instantly successful thing I’ve ever done,” he says “and we have another eight of those planned.”

So it is a compulsion then, his need to perform stand-up?

“I certainly enjoy it, mainly because I lack any form of shame,” he laughs. “You just have to throw yourself in and hope for the best.”

  • Ed Gamble plays The North Wall, South Parade, Summertown on Saturday. The show has sold out. He plays The Kenton Theatre in Henley on April 5