Comedian Reginald D Hunter has recently returned from an epic road trip from North Carolina to New Orleans documenting the 150-year history of American song for a BBC 2 series.

In New Orleans, the comic interviewed blues legend Dr John who asked him what he did for a living.

“I told him I was a stand-up, and he replied, ‘So you’re a kicks man. It’s a very important job, providing kicks for people,’” remembers Reginald, who brings his show The Man Who Attempted To Do As Much As Such to St Albans next month.

He continues: “Is ‘kicks man’ how I’d describe myself? It is now! I am hereby christened A Man of Kicks.”

And the 46-year-old has been providing kicks for British audiences for nearly two decades, becoming one of the most in demand performers in the country.

Known for his distinctive take on subjects such as race and sexuality, he is often brutally honest and is sometimes viewed as controversial. However he has never been afraid to confront challenging issues head on, even when it comes to his own beliefs.

“I remember as a boy watching Richard Pryor and thinking, ‘That’s brilliant, but don’t stop there, go further!’” explains Reginald, who regularly appears on panel shows such as QI, Have I Got News For You and Would I Lie To You?

He adds: “Now I try to create the sort of stand-up show I’d like to see – and then take it further.”

However, the RADA-trained entertainer admits that even though he has his provocative moments, overall he has mellowed as the years have passed.

“I’m not as ferociously angry as I was. I’ve now figured out the stuff that was making me angry,” reflects the comic. “For example, political debate doesn’t make me mad any more because I’ve seen through it.”

Coming back to stand-up after making his TV series, Reginald D Hunter’s Songs of the South, he is enjoying being back on the British stage again.

“I love stand-up,” says the Writers’ Guild Award for Comedy-winner. “Every time something new works on stage, it’s definitely a great high. It’s really satisfying.

“It makes me smarter. I spend a lot of time alone in hotels and airports. When you’re locked away, you do a lot of thinking and come back smarter.”

The Georgia-born American comedian admits he has a particular affection for British audiences and enjoys exploring the differences between the UK and the USA in his work.

“Britain is both my real home and my comedy home,” says Reginald.

He explains: “British audiences like being surprised comedically. The problem with Americans is that they just want you to get to the funny part.

“In Britain, you can be rude about the Royal Family. But if you say anything which they deem unpatriotic in the US, they say, ‘Get the hell out of here!’”

The Man Who Attempted to Do As Much As Such, Alban Arena, Civic Centre, St Albans, Saturday, June 6, 8pm. Details: 01727 844488,