From the irreverent and outrageous The Joan Collins Experience, to a tabloid newspaper campaign to ban him from television, after a controversial joke about a former chancellor...and from an upcoming project at London's Palladium, alongside a Dame, to a comedy night at Wight Proms, in the grounds of a stately home in Cowes.

It would be fair to say Julian Clary's career has never been dull.

These days, he is known as much for being an author and an actor as for throwing caution to the wind, when it comes to comedy, but performing is his first love and he's hoping to leave his Northwood House audience laughing, on August 19.

Julian is no stranger to the Isle of Wight, thanks to family holidays at a guesthouse in Sandown, with his aunt Doreen. He recalls a red carpet, sweeping stairs and heading down the beach, with his sisters and older cousin.

Isle of Wight County Press: Northwood House, Cowes.Northwood House, Cowes.

In recent years, he's become something of a regular at Shanklin Theatre.

"I have a long history with the Isle of Wight. It's associated with my childhood," he tells the Isle of Wight County Press.

He brings his live show, Born to Mince, to Wight Proms' comedy night next month and he can't wait.

He said: "I think Wight Proms will be lovely. I'm really looking forward to it.

"These things are usually very relaxed and people are in a good mood, because it's summer and it's in the open air.

"I can also do my full length show, which is great because, often, they just want a shortened version."

How does he think it will go?

"We'll see, won't we? I hope people turn up to see me and we'll have a good time."

Sadly, he won't have time to explore his old haunts.

"There's a few hours, between arriving and setting up, to potter around. I might find a beach or something, but I won't be there for very long."

Isle of Wight County Press:

Julian, who is a Sunday Times best-selling novelist, thanks to Murder Most Fab, Devil in Disguise and Briefs Encountered, has also penned a series of popular children's books, called The Bolds. His autobiography, A Young Man’s Passage and his memoir, The Lick of Love, further add to his presence on the shelves of a good book shop near you.

After the Covid-19 lockdown, he was straight back out on stage, with a tour of play called The Dresser and then with his own show.

And with so many strings to his bow, does he have a favourite?

"I like the variety of my life and and rotating different activities, but my first love is performing, because it offers immediate job satisfaction.

"When you write a book, you've got to wait for a few months before anyone reads it.

"Performing gives immediate feedback."

So, with such an eclectic back catalogue (Carry On Columbus, Radio 4’s Just a Minute, QI, Who Do You Think You Are?) how does Julian describe Born to Mince (which, incidentally, comes with a 16+ certificate)?

Isle of Wight County Press:

Some of the stars of Wight Proms.

"It's very silly, but it's got a message as well.

"It's me pottering about, chatting to people about my life.

"Then, in the second half, I perform heterosexual conversion therapy on some men from the audience.

"They join me on stage and I wire them up to a contraption and show them pictures of people like Joan Collins and Ann Widdecombe.

"It's a way of getting a message across without actually being too serious about it.

"There is a subtext there, if you wish to find it."

After his summer Island gig, it's more stage and book events, including the Edinburgh Book Festival and then (sorry for the c word) a Christmas panto - Jack and the Beanstalk at the London Palladium, with Dawn French.

"We just had a production meeting actually and it's going to be quite spectacular.

"I can't reveal how the beanstalk is going to happen, but it will be amazing!"

Julian's thrilled to have the show's full cast again - including all the dancers.

That's thanks to the lifting of the previous restrictions back stage, designed to protect everybody from Covid-19.

The hustle and bustle will be interspersed with some quiet writing time (he's enjoying a bit of 'domestic life') but, fortunately for us, there's the trip across the Solent too.

"It's really nice to be able to out again, but also the audiences just seem to be thrilled to be together and having that experience in the theatre again," he says.

"It's really about having a laugh and the thrill for me is making people happy.

"The world's a bit of a funny old place at the moment. If you can laugh for a few hours and be transported, that's my function - to provide some escapism."