THE very serious issue of identity theft has provided comedian Mark Watson with the inspiration for his latest stand-up show.

But the Bristol-born performer who actually had money stolen from his Internet bank account, insists he’ll be approaching the subject from a purely light-hearted perspective.

“I had my bank account hacked into and someone took money from it online. It maade me think about the power of the Internet and that someone had managed to steal my identity. I found it quite a strange thought. The themes in the show are how we deal with the power of the Internet and I do explore that but my main aim, of course, is to make people laugh,” he says.

If you haven’t seen Mark live, the chances are you’ve seen him taking a sideways look at the news on topical TV quiz shows like Have I Got News For You and Mock The Week. When he first started doing MTW, Mark says it was sometimes difficult to get a word in edgeways. Now it’s easier, he says. What does he prefer, TV shows or stand up?

“On the whole I prefer doing live shows because you can give the audience more of a sense of who you are. On TV there’s always editing, whereas with your own stand up show you can pretty much do what you want. There’s nothing quite like a live show for taking risks and doing the unexpected,” he says.

Mark once dreamed about working in front of a mike - but in a very different field. The lifelong Bristol City fan once harboured an ambition of becoming a football commentator.

“I was lucky enough to do a bit of commentary for Absolute Radio during the Euros. It was not proper commentary, comedy commentary - proper commentary takes a special skill. I hope that’s something I get to do again because that was a real dream come true for me,” he says.

* The Lowry presents Mark Watson: Live 2012 on November 15 and November 16 at 8pm. Tickets are available from 0843 208 6000 and you can also book online at