GARY Delaney is the master of the one-liner; a one-man machine gun of gags, which he unleashes on his audiences without mercy.

No one else can deliver jokes at such volume and velocity nor with such scatter gun abandon.

His wisecracks are so daft – and occasionally clever – that it is impossible not to laugh, and you stand a realistic chance of pulling a muscle in your side.

“There are so many ‘kings of the one-liner’ nowadays that it’s all got a bit Game of Thrones,” he says. “If you do gags, you live and die by their quality, so you have to make them good. I keep about one in 20 of the jokes I write, so I have to write and test over 4,000 to make a new tour show.”

A star of Mock The Week, Live at The Apollo and Celebrity Pointless he has also written for 8 Out Of 10 Cats and 8 Out Of 10 Cats Does Countdown, A League Of Their Own, The British Comedy Awards and The News Quiz.

A Sony and Chortle Award winner, he repeatedly takes the Edinburgh Festival Fringe by storm and his jokes have twice made Dave’s Top 10 Funniest Jokes from the Edinburgh Fringe.

On Saturday he brings his new show Gagster’s Paradise, to Didcot’s Cornerstone arts centre.

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So what can we expect?

“I called this tour Gagster’s Paradise because I wanted a title that let people know it had loads of jokes in, there’s no story and no sad bits. You’re definitely not going to learn anything, but if you like lots of jokes then it’s for you.

“I thought it was quite a clever title, but quite a few times I’ve turned up at venues and seen that my posters have been have graffitied to say ‘Ginster’s Paradise’ instead. To be fair, they do have a point though.”

Famous in the comedy world for his perfectly formed jokes, how does he craft his gags?

“I listen to people talking and how they use language,” he says. “Most one-liners are reverse engineered, and start with something you hear. I hear an everyday phrase and think ‘I could muck about with that’.

“I’ll give you an example. We’ve just got a little dog. It was my turn to walk him, and as I was leaving the house my wife reminded me: ‘Don’t forget poobags?’. Talking casually gives you more leeway for jokes. If it were on Radio 4, she should have said ‘Don’t forget the poobags’. She didn’t say the ‘the’ because in real life we don’t talk proper, but technically that changes the meaning.

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“The poobags is a noun, but Poobags is a proper noun, so now it sounds like someone’s name – or nickname. Hence it became this joke: I went round Granddad’s to walk his dog. As I was leaving, he said: ‘Don’t forget poobags!’, I was like ‘Alright, Gran, you can come as well.”

A comedian’s comedian, who else does he admire on the comedy circuit these days?

“The stand-ups I admire the most are all gag-men, people who could write a really good short funny joke,” he says. “Emo Philips, Steven Wright, Milton Jones, Mitch Hedberg, Max Miller, Ken Dodd, Henny Youngman, Bob Monkhouse and Rodney Dangerfield.

“However, the best joke writer in the world right now is Anthony Jeselnik in the States.”

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While much of his time is spent performing in front of the camera, he admits nothing comes close to playing live.

“I always prefer being live on stage,” he says. “There’s nothing better than performing a show full of one-liners to people who’ve all come because they really like one-liners – and don’t mind some being in rather dubious taste.

“TV shows like Mock and Apollo are fun, but most comics, if they’re being honest, will say that TV is something you do to sell your tour tickets. Also live is more fun as it’s in the moment. There’s just you and an audience and no editor to cut out the bits that don’t work. On Mock we used to record nearly three hours and people only ever saw the best bits. Live there’s no safety net.

His tour dates regularly sell out. So how does it feel to be so popular?

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“Frankly I love it,” he says. “It takes me a loooong time to write a show with this many jokes in,” he goes on. “So I always want as many people to see it as possible.

“But pressure is good. Without pressure I’d still be a conference organiser!”

Gary's tips for budding comedians...

“Talent is abundant, the willingness to work hard is rare,” he says. “Write every day. Gig every night. You’ll progress.”

He goes on: “Don’t speak too fast, stick to your time, do a little pause before the funny bit, don’t waffle, fake confidence, hold the mike near your mouth, be polite, and stay in the light. Don’t get drunk or stoned. Put the funny bit at the end of your jokes and minimise the gaps between funny bits. And don’t apologise, ever.

“Review your material constantly. Edit, improve, tweak, experiment, keep what works.

“Replace your weakest material with better new stuff – it’s an ongoing process.

“Tape every gig and listen back to it. Watch as many good comics as you can. Really watch comics who’ve just done better than you to the same audience.

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“Experiment in good rooms, edit in hard rooms. Always listen to the audience, they ultimately decide what is funny and they will tell you who you are, and what you should be saying.”

Gary Delaney plays the Cornerstone Didcot on Saturday. The show is sold out but check for returns at 01235 515144

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Gary’s top one-liners... (some are better than others!)

  1. I think the hardest part of making skimmed milk must be throwing the cows across the lake.
  2. Every Christmas Day we always have pigs in blankets, or as you probably call it, relatives sleeping in the spare room.
  3. One time there was a fire at a voodoo doll factory and 10,000 people died.
  4. I’m a lot more sporty than I look, in fact I picked up a little niggle at the gym the other day, I mean he pronounces it Nigel.
  5. I put on a lot of weight so I rang up weight watchers, I said ‘it’s an emergency can you send somebody round’, and they said ‘yes we can we’ve got loads of them’.
  6. My girlfriend's dog died and to cheer her up I bought her an identical one. She was livid, ‘what am I going to do with two dead dogs?’
  7. I went to see a polish Pink Floyd tribute band, not only were they cheaper but they played The Wall in half the time.
  8. I’ve got the memory of an elephant; I remember one-time I went to the zoo and I saw an elephant.
  9. This morning I made a Belgian waffle, in the afternoon I made a Frenchman talk rubbish.
  10. The President of France said this week that English speakers were arrogant in their refusal to learn other languages, at least I think that’s what he said. But it all just sounded like haw he saw he haw he haw.
  11. It’s been a tough week, I bought myself a memory foam mattress and now it’s trying to blackmail me.
  12. I was in a fancy lingerie shop and I said are these knickers satin, they said no they’re new.
  13. My grief councillor died recently but luckily he was so good I didn’t care.
  14. I took a poll recently and 100% of the people were quite annoyed that their tent had fallen down.
  15. I think it’s sad the word legend has been devalued from pulling a sword from a stone to unexpectedly returning with crisps.