The title In the Midst Of Crackers is now a brilliantly ironic one for Reginald D Hunter’s latest tour, considering the furore surrounding his recent gig for the Professional Footballers’ Association.

The black American was reported to have used the n-word, as he usually does, in his routine, which made all the national newspapers.

Not that Reginald is answering any questions on the matter, his agent telling me: “He feels that he has said everything that he wants to say on the subject on his Facebook page.”

Which is a shame because it’s hard to do an interview without mentioning it. And while Reginald D Hunter seems a curious choice for that particular audience, rather like asking Bernard Manning to address the WI, he was just doing what he does best on stage and isn’t remotely apologetic.

If anything, he’s rather bemused by the whole incident and is carrying on with his tour regardless. Besides, he’s one of us now, having moved over to the UK 10 years ago, because we embrace his sense of humour far more than his fellow countrymen ever did, and he loves us for it.

We love him back, it would seem, because with sell-out tours and an enormous fanbase, over the past decade Reginald D Hunter has become a name to reckon with on the comedy circuit. Coming to the New Theatre on Sunday, no doubt he will tell you all about it then, but in the meantime In The Midst Of Crackers has been described as ‘fearlessly honest and often contentious’. Surprise surprise!

More than that, however, he won’t disclose.

“I’m sure there’s a theme in there somewhere, but I genuinely don’t describe my act,” he says. “It’s like saying ‘This is a delicious meal you made for me. Now can you show me how to chew it and digest it, too’.

So to try to uncover the meaning of comedy is to seek your own doom. If I figured it out, that would be the end. You can over-analyse to the point where you relieve everything of its magic. It’s like when you watch those long trailers and you have pretty much seen the whole movie.” In other words, buy a ticket and come and make up your own mind. Not that Reg isn’t excited by the prospect.

“It really doesn’t seem like work at all because stand-up comedy gives me such buzz. It’s a wonderful moment of reaffirmation when you’re standing in front of thousands of people who are laughing their heads off. It genuinely galvanises you and means you can get out of bed for something you really care about.

"If I’m exhausted, the live arena is the only place where I can still find a way to do my best.”

Born and brought up in Georgia, Reginald has been based on this side of the Atlantic for the past decade.

“People here get me and that’s something I never felt in Georgia,” he says. “There my sense of humour always seemed odd. I was always being sent out of the classroom at school. Girls thought I was weird and I was always the outsider. But here my sensibility makes perfect sense. All my neuroses help me fit in here. I have felt right at home in Britain since the very beginning.

“This is the place that has given me the biggest opportunity, but in America I’m just another big black guy with dreadlocks.”

His family is equally perplexed by his success in the UK.

“They saw me on YouTube for the first time recently and asked, ‘Do British people really pay you for that?’ To them, I’m this guy who lies on the couch watching sport. The fact that I’m celebrated in London makes them think that the world has gone nuts,” he laughs. S

o what’s the difference between American and British comedy then?

“American comedians tend to laugh at others, while British comedians tend to laugh at themselves. You have the right to take the Mick out of others because you started with yourself. Americans haven’t learned that yet. Plus in Georgia the conversation is limited to the price of pig food, sport and Jesus.”

Although he has always been touted as controversial, Reg is now headline news.

“In my experience, ‘controversial’ is when you say something which people find difficult to accept. It’s not fearless – you have just shocked them. So I’d say to them ‘Now take a minute. Let the cold wind blow, it will be all right, because the only people who should be allowed to be controversial are politicians. If you find comedians mess up your day in that way, maybe you should get out more.

“Besides, it’s hard to tell the difference between people who are genuinely shocked and people who feel they should be shocked and take a platform position on something it would be hard to disagree with.

"I think they’re simply calling attention to themselves – ‘look at me! I’m disgusted by this. You have to know that I’m a good person’.’” That’s not to say that Reginald doesn’t have boundaries.

“Of course, I have long dark nights of the soul where I consider where the line should be. I come from a very Christian, preachy culture. At some point, you have to answer for what you have said. So I do have those worries. Or sometimes I listen to old routines, flinch and say ‘Why did those white liberal people let me say that? They should have stopped me!’”

Then he adds: “But I stilI prefer not to know what will happen. Then if everything goes wrong, at least it will be a surprise!”