It took me years to understand that not everyone feels the same need to tell the truth. It was always getting me into trouble.

“I’m just emotionally incontinent and over expressive. I have this need to say stuff about myself and I have a lot of things I want to say. I need that outlet and it’s immediate in stand-up and feels great. Self expression is the best medium.”

So speaks David Baddiel, he who joined the Cambridge Footlights at university and hasn’t looked back since.

From his heady days alongside Rob Newman in The Mary Whitehouse Experience to his memorable partnership with Frank Skinner, it has always been his raison d’etre.

“It got me into trouble then,” he admits. “When The Mary Whitehouse Experience was crumbling, Rob wanted to be interviewed separately, so journalists kept asking how it was going with Rob.

“I’d tell them without, for a second, thinking I should be keeping that under my hat and that I was only making things worse.

“So, if you ask me a question, I’ll always tell you the answer. I have never had that off-switch or ever inhibited myself.”

Perhaps that’s why comedy suits him so well, the urge to unburden himself is well suited to his life as a stand-up.

And yet age has morphed Baddiel’s comedy into what he calls “a more age appropriate medium” wrapping his humour around stories that he recounts, both on stage, TV and in books.

His newest foray - children’s novels - are selling in their millions - his debut The Parent Agency currently being made into a Hollywood film courtesy of Fox, another, AniMalcolm, into a full blown stage show.”

“Yeah, that went well,” he says laughing. Yet he never patronises children which is presumably why they are so popular?

“I would never dumb down comedy just because it’s directed at a child. I want to say these things and tell these stories.

“ It’s ideas that motivate me. I don’t think ‘oh yes that’s a children’s idea’. I write it down and use it because it’s funny,” the 53 year old tells me.

“So many award-winning children’s novels are about serious, grave, sad, haunting subjects. Yet many children prefer humour. It’s a great way in,” he continues.

He says his move into fiction was a coincidence, prompted by his son Ezra asking why Harry Potter didn’t just choose better parents, which got him thinking.

But while most parents palm our children off with platitudes, Baddiel wrote a book, a very funny book, that caught on like wildfire.

“Ideas are what motivate me,” he agrees.

However, when he comes to Oxford Playhouse this month as part of the Offbeat festival, it will be under a different guise entirely, that of stand-up, unable it seems, despite his success as a children’s author to stay away from the stage.

He says My Father Not The Sitcom was an “unstoppable force of a show that demanded to be written”.

It came about after his mother died and everyone said how wonderful she was at her funeral.

“She was wonderful, but she was so much more than that. She was mad and crazy and funny. She had an affair and played golf and told risque jokes. She was so flagrant.”

Last year’s powerful Channel 4 documentary, The Trouble with Dad, was another avenue.

Didn’t he mind washing his family’s dirty washing in public? “Absolutely not. I do not have that need for privacy.

“People say the show is so brave and honest but actually I had to include it all to bring her to life and do her justice. Besides, “I’m 100% convinced my mum would have loved the show. It makes her sound very glamorous.”

So what can we expect? “It’s an adult version of stand up because there are images and footage.

“I’m bringing my childhood and family to life by telling the truth about my mother and about my father’s dementia.”

So could his children make a show about him? “Being a modern parent has made it harder. Because I grew up in the 70s, my parents didn’t stop their lives for their children, they just carried on regardless.

“But my son is hilarious (you’d hope so with him and his wife Morwenna Banks -also a comedian- as parents) so I’m happy to be used for material because while I am an atheist I worship comedy. If its funny it covers all ills.”

Even his much watched public social media spats? Baddiel’s twitter feed is a well explored venting avenue for his views on anything from Trump to anti-semitism. “Piers Morgan said to me on Good Morning Britain he would never cross me on social media again. And I worry it’s become a bit of a reflex, because I am aware of the audience so I treat Twitter like a heckler in a club. It’s a sport.”

All of which all helped him craft his next show Trolls: Not The Dolls which he’s currently rehearsing.

As for the World Cup... “I wondered when you were going to get round to that,” he smiles ruefully, having famously sung football’s Three Lions anthem We’re Coming Home with Frank Skinner in 2016.

“Yes I’ll be watching it all. I’ve even delayed a show one night so I can watch a game.

“Let’s put it this way. The only way I’ll be singing that song again will mean we have won, so you never know.”

  • David Baddiel
  • My Family: Not The Sitcom
  • Oxford Playhouse
  • Monday June 25