A year ago no one knew who Matt Richardson was, but then he landed one of televisions biggest presenting gigs and the juggernaut that is X Factor careered its way into his life.

Cue reports of The Xtra Factor presenter getting it on with co-host Caroline Flack (false), having an affair with Nicole Scherzinger (his dad wished this was true) and snogging Radio 1’s Nick Grimshaw (this one IS true!).

“I thought the rumour about me and Nicole was hilarious and I totally milked it of course,“ says the comedian, who is bringing his stand-up show to Harpenden next month.

“And there was a story about me snogging Nick Grimshaw at a party. To be fair it did happen, but we were mucking about and it was a dare.

“But the papers thought we were in a relationship and giving it a proper go,“ says Matt, who is talking to me as he travels by train.

The 22-year-old, who still lives at home in Didcot with parents Mandy and Jeff, says he has always been “loud and precocious“ and fell in love with comedy aged 14 after watching a Jimmy Carr DVD.

His first gig was in 2009 and by May 2013 he had dropped out of a publishing degree at Oxford Brookes and had a fully-fledged comedy career.

X Factor bosses spotted him at Edinburgh Festival and after a quick screen test with Caroline Flack he was being handed the stepping stone to fame.

“Simon (Cowell) picked me and cast it, so it was really nice he believed in me and gave me a break,“ say Matt.

“When I got the email I did think ’I don’t know why they want me’. It has meant a massive break for me.“ It’s also given him a chance to win brownie points with the parents.

“I do still live at home, but am hardly there and treat it a bit like a hotel, but they got X Factor tickets every week. My dad had a kiss from Nicole and my mum was gossiping with Sharon, so there’s no way I’m going to pay them rent.“

Matt is still waiting to hear if he’ll be invited back for another series of The Xtra Factor and says: “I spoke to them last week, but they are very last minute. If they ask and I think it’s still right then I would.“

In the meantime, he is capitalising on his new found fame by going back on the road with show Hometown Hero, which won Best New Show at the 2012 Leicester Comedy Festival.

Despite loving champions of controversy Frankie Boyle and Miley Cyrus, who he “really fancies“, Matt says his own show doesn’t have a shock factor.

“There’s no journey I’m going to take the audience on. I’m just going to tell gags I think are funny.

“I did think a bit about my family and friends and where I’m from and growing up, but Hometown Hero is also a joke name which sort of doesn’t work now. A year and a half ago I had never done anything of note, so it was a tongue-in-cheek name, but now I’m on TV so it makes me look arrogant, which I hope I’m not.“

He was however very proud to be named Heat’s Weird Crush 2014 a few weeks ago, beating fellow presenter Matt Edmondson, who he often gets mistaken for.

“I fought a solid campaign and was elated as I really wanted to win,“ he laughs.

Despite this, or maybe because of it, he has managed to bag himself a lovely new girlfriend who he coyly admits also “works in the industry“, but before I can mange to tease any more information out of him he is whisked through a train tunnel and is gone.

Harpenden Public Halls, Southdown Road, Harpenden, Thursday, April 10, 8pm. Details: 01582 767525, harpendenpublichalls.co.uk