MARK Watson has never been a comedian to take the easy route of opening a show by asking his audience how they are and where they come from.

In the past, he’s started shows by communicating with his crowd over Twitter, crawling out of a suitcase, and running on a treadmill. On his current tour, The Infinite Show — which is coming to Medina Theatre on Friday (June 28) — Mark is getting up close and personal with his fans by handing them cards with questions on them beforehand, whether they’re in the queue, hanging around the bar or perhaps even sitting comfortably in their seats.

The questions are geared towards assessing the empathy of his crowd toward their fellow humans and celebrating idiosyncrasies.

“I do feel the more I see shows and study the form of them, a slow start is very difficult to come back from. So the idea is it makes the audience feel the show has already begun,” said Mark.

“The best ones are the inexplicably fierce opinions about something trivial which nearly everyone has."

Messing around with an audience has been just one of the things that has elevated Mark to the dizzy heights of the British stand-up scene since winning the Daily Telegraph Open Mic competition in 2002.

His 24 and 36-hour shows are the stuff of Edinburgh Fringe legend and he has also written novels such as Bullet Points and A Light-Hearted Look At Murder.

His TV credits include everything from Michael McIntyre’s Comedy Roadshow and guest-presenting Never Mind The Buzzcocks to Celebrity Island With Bear Grylls.

A well-established presence on the comedy touring circuit, Mark said: "Touring represents the kind of life you hope you’d have when you first start off. Being seen by pretty much your own audience and being able to sustain yourself out of performing your own show rather than gigging on mixed bills is what most comedians want."