Comedy lovers who attend Mark Steel’s stand-up-gig in Didcot in February might be surprised by the comedian’s level of knowledge about the South Oxfordshire town. The 50-year-old is a regular on panel shows such as Have I Got News for You, QI and Never Mind The Buzzcocks where his quick wit sees him hold his own with the likes of Stephen Fry, Bill Bailey, Paul Merton and Ian Hislop.

His ‘Mark Steel’s in Town’ takes its name from two recent series he completed for Radio Four – shows which involved him travelling to towns and cities to discover exactly what makes them unique.

Now he’s taken the idea on the road he has soon discovered that audiences aren’t shy about revealing quirky local attitudes. At a recent Penzance gig a spectator said, to loud cheers, that St Ives people considered themselves a bit posh because “they had their own dentist”.

Mark told Nottingham Live website that he likes to be prepared before gigs. He said: “You need to do weeks of research beforehand and spend days there prior to the gig. You need to get a feel for what people talk about in that town.”

So what will Mark talk about at his Didcot gig? I’m sure he’ll drop in a few Midsomer Murders quips – he has to really, Didcot is located in the heart of the countryside where it’s filmed.

Cutting jokes about corpses, or gaffs about world politics? Didcot should steel itself for Mark’s visit!

Mark Steel @ Cornerstone Arts Centre, Saturday 19th February, prices start at £12.50.