Musical aficionado, traveller, outspoken orator, documentary maker and panel show flaneur - Reginald D Hunter is a number of things, but his recent description as a ‘kicks man’ suits him just fine.
The award-winning comic, and regular on Have I Got News For You, is embarking on his first stand-up tour since 2013, having taken time away from the stage to film BBC documentary Songs of the South and to travel around Eastern Europe.
You are the only country I have ever been to that has a national sense of pride in its sense of humourReginald D Hunter
On May 21, Mr Hunter, known for his deadpan delivery and his willingness to tackle racial humour while remaining one of the most affable people in showbusiness, is set for the Royal and Derngate in Northampton.
But the funnyman is remaining tight lipped about the contents of the new show: The Man who Attempted to do as Much as Such.
“I maybe felt some things while I was away and I wrote them down.
“To be honest I guess it’s just I feel the right to comment on some things - that’s all I’m saying.”
And he added: “To be honest if I spent all that time on the road and didn’t learn anything, there would be something seriously wrong with me.”
Though the easily ‘outraged’ might want to steer clear of the show.
His previous stand-up, ‘In the Midst of Crackers’, outing courted controversy.
In April 2013, the Professional Footballer’s Association demanded money back from Hunter after he performed at its award ceremony, though pictures Hunter posted of himself and footballers smiling after the gig seemed to counter then chairman Clarke Carlisle’s assertions that he was ‘embarrassed’ by the humour.
But Hunter’s last tour also cemented the comedian as a firm favourite in the UK.
“Some people are perpetually outraged,” Hunter said of the divisive 2013 tour. “Outragers want to be outraged.
“In 2013 I hit a Titanic iceberg of outragers who pride themselves on finding the next best thing to get outraged about.”
Though his agent recommended a ‘little break’ from touring his adoptive home country, the funnyman, who describes himself as a ‘comedian, swashbuckler, scientist and libertine on his Twitter profile, is glad to be back.
He said: “This is where I first started having articulate ideas.”
“I go back to the South (in the US) and I keep the conversation basic. I can talk about buffets, you know, that sort of thing.
“But when I want intellectual conflict this is where I come.
“When I want that complexity I come back to the UK.
“You are the only country I have ever been to that has a national sense of pride in its sense of humour.”
This year has seen a new side of Hunter emerge in the lushly shot Songs of the South, which saw the 46-year-old travel the Southern states of America tracing its rich musical roots.
But a meeting with New Orleans soul legend, Doctor John, helped best define Hunter’s complex, if undeniably likeable character.
“He and I sat down at the piano and he asked me what I did for a living,” Hunter said.
“‘Are you a musician’? He asked. I said ‘no I’m a stand-up comedian’.
“He said, ‘oh you’re a kicks man, you give people kicks’.
“Now that’s about the coolest thing I had ever heard.”
To see Hunter perform at the Derngate, book tickets at www.royalandderngate.co.uk.