AFTER chatting to Stewart Francis about his last tour, he finally gave away his comedic secret that he has kept from his audiences for the last 30 years.

Stewart is known for his famous one-liners and he has finally revealed how he writes with these hilarious puns.

He said: “Now I am leaving, I can tell you my secret. What you do, is you come up with the punchline first and then work backwards and you can then chop and change it slightly. For example, someone said to me ‘I refuse to be spoken to in that tone’ and I made a one liner about a helium gas factory.”

Into The Punset is Stewarts final tour – 30 years later, almost to the day he started performing.

He is leaving the comedy industry to pursue his other love, acting.

“I’m going to step away from comedy and focus on acting which is another passion” Stewart explained.

“When you’re a comedian, casting directors can be a bit lazy and think, ‘well he’s just a comedian’ but I’m not. I think I have some significant acting chops and I want to prove that to myself and to the world.

“But when you’re wearing both hats as a comedian and an actor, you can be taken less seriously; so I want there to be a real separation.

“I am very much looking forward to the end of the tour – I will be going out on a high.

“I am not driven by money, I am driven by morals and I like the fact I am like that. I would never keep doing the shows and taking money from the audiences if my heart wasn’t in it anymore.

“It is my must successful tour so far and I am at the top of my game, I wouldn’t want to leave it any other way.”

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He started his Into The Punset tour last October and there are 157 shows altogether.

His final performance is at the Eventim Apollo, formerly the Hammersmith Apollo and it is an ambitious room to fill, but Stewart feels this is the best place to end his comedic career.

He added: “When I was younger I always wanted to be a cartoonist and the original cartoon I wrote was called Hammersmith, so it was only fitting for me to end there.”

Before becoming a comedian, Stewart worked in a post office but knew he always wanted to be in showbusiness and decided that the easiest route was comedy.

He explained: “It is pretty natural. It is weird to do comedy in a room full of people, but it does come naturally to me – I have never had problems when performing on stage.

“I love one-liners – who wouldn’t want more jokes? I think that telling stories is too self-indulgent for me.”

There were some jokes that Stewart found funny when he was younger but didn’t have enough stage confidence to use them. Now, he has the confidence to tell any joke – any surprisingly, he has never had an unusual audience reaction to any of his one-liners.

He added: “I like all my jokes – for whatever reason they have popped into my brain. My legacy joke is probably the one about swimming back to the shore.”

Into The Punset is coming to Westlands in Yeovil on November 7 at 8pm and so if you want to see Stewart in action one more time, save the date.

Stewart explained: “There will be chunks of jokes with similar topics but there is no theme other than the jokes being hilarious of course.”

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