IT is best not to put Milton Jones on the spot.

That is when the Mock the Week regular lets his mischievous impulses take control.

Take his specialist subject on Celebrity Mastermind for example – potatoes.

“I mean, if I’d have taken it seriously I’d have done something like Arsenal,” said the 55-year-old.

“But when he announced it – ‘your specialist subject is potatoes’ – the audience all laughed, and I thought: ‘In a way, I’ve chalked up!’

“I came last, obviously, but I’m employed as a comedian. It’s entertainment. If I get to do it again I’ll choose carrots.”

It is a similar story for the Comedy Store performer’s latest show, Milton: Impossible.

He came up with the name first and had to work backwards from there – reinventing himself as a Hawaiian shirt wearing answer to James Bond, Jason Bourne and Ethan Hunt.

The surreal show, which is coming to the Parr Hall on Wednesday, February 19, will take audiences through an action-packed mystery story via hundreds of his trademark, crafted pieces of wordplay.

Milton added: “‘Basically, I came up with the title before the show. I thought: ‘That sounds good’.

“So I made a rod for my own back by theming it. But sometimes it’s easier to write to a theme than have a completely blank page. The show is based on Mission: Impossible, but that has a huge budget and lots of special effects.

“My show is just me and some hats and about 250 jokes. It’s low-tech instead of high-tech.

“This show’s got an interrogation scene, a car chase with a swivel chair, and I end up escaping on top of a Vince Cable Car.

“It’s not strictly realistic, but it’s as daft as ever.”

The narrative element is not to be sniffed at considering it involves Milton somehow mashing hundreds of one-liners together into a story.

And nothing is wasted – if a gag does not make the cut or struggles to fit the theme of the show it will appear elsewhere.

The Radio 4 regular and Live at the Apollo star said: “There are about 250 jokes in the show, but I reckon I end up writing about 350.

“A lot of them are then used somewhere else – in the next tour, on radio, on Mock the Week – so they’re never wasted.

“And if they’re particularly brilliant then I might go out of my way to include them in the show.

“If a gag works, it makes a cartoon in someone’s head – a very brief picture where they think they know where it’s going, and then you pull the carpet from under them and it was all about something else all along. It’s reverse engineering from an idea or a phrase.”

Milton’s last tour played to more than 100,000 people and he has also reached millions appearing on Mock the Week more than 40 times.

He said he likes both disciplines in different ways.

Milton added: “Going to a small place on a Saturday night where they’re all determined to have a great laugh – I don’t think that can be beaten, in one sense.

“With radio or television, you’re as good as the edit, and it’s out of your control.

“That may well work in your favour, or it may not.

“With Mock the Week, when I think I’ve done a bad show, I’ll watch it back and think: ‘Oh, it was alright’.

“But when I think I’ve done a really good show I’ll watch it back and think: ‘Oh, it was all right’ – it all evens out.

“I always watch my appearances back because I need to know what they used and what they didn’t.

“Doing several episodes, the same subjects may come back, so obviously I don’t want to say the same thing that has already been aired.

“And then, occasionally, I’ll be channel flicking and I’ll come across myself, as it’s endlessly repeated on Dave.

“But I watch them from behind a sofa a bit.

“I’m very grateful to Mock the Week for giving me a wider platform, and also a slightly different audience.

“It’s a younger audience, and those people will come to a tour show, sometimes even bringing their grandparents or parents.

“My audiences are a motley selection of people, which I quite like, actually.”

Catering for different generations can be tough though.

Milton said: “I am aware that if I make a reference to Instagram or something I’m going to lose everyone over 50.

“But that’s fine because overall my references are quite general, and even if you didn’t get it, the joke’s only going to last 20 seconds, so there’ll be something else along soon enough.”

Milton is currently on the road until the end of April. Then he will be back on the touring circuit in October and November.

He currently does not have anything else planned in between but enjoys seizing opportunities that are a little out of the ordinary.

“Who knows what will turn up,” added Milton, who has also appeared on Michael McIntyre’s Comedy Roadshow.

“Sometimes the unexpected things that come along are the most interesting – other quiz shows, a corporate event abroad – things you wouldn’t have predicted like talking about potatoes on Celebrity Mastermind.

“You get to meet and talk to people you wouldn’t otherwise.”

Milton Jones brings Milton: Impossible to Parr Hall on February 19. Visit