ELOQUENT, charming and delightfully self-effacing, velvet-toned Miles Jupp is one of our favourite comedians and quite rightly regarded as a figure of fun.

But the gentle-natured comic’s show at the Oxford Playhouse this Tuesday (January 16) won’t just be wall-to-wall laughs at Miles’s expense. While there will be hilarity aplenty, there will also be a more serious side with the stand-up, actor and presenter sharing details of a really rather unpleasant experience from which he is still recovering.

In August 2021, the former News Quiz host, stand-up star and actor, suffered a brain seizure which required major neurosurgery.

The scare – if that is not downplaying what must have been a terrifying incident – is the subject of Miles’s new show, On I Bang, which finds the funny side to what he describes as “a tale of surprise, fear, luck, love and qualified medical practitioners”.

“Well, the big spoiler is I survived,” says the chirpy funnyman who fans of a certain age have loved since his days in children’s TV show Balamory, but who has also charmed in Harry Potter, Rev, The Thick Of It, The Full Monty, Why Didn’t They Ask Evans? and, latterly, as the Emperor of Austria in Ridley Scott’s movie Napoleon. I had a brain seizure, which was actually quite luck,” he says.

“It meant I was taken to hospital where they ran tests. So having the seizure was an element of fortune because it’s like a big helpful sign that something is up. And that something was a brain tumour the size of a cherry tomato, which had to be removed. My skull probably has a groove in it, but it’s at the back so I can’t see it. And I feel quite quite jolly.”

It was while filming ITV series Trigger Point when everything went wrong.

He recalls: “I’d just finished my scene. Ludicrously my character, a radio host, is speaking and then a bomb goes off roughly when it felt like a bomb had gone off in my own head. Luckily I was in a work environment which meant there was a medic on the set so they wrestled me into the appropriate position. It was only a day’s work, but taking that job might have saved my life.”

Was it completely unexpected?

“The tumour was there but I was totally unaware of it. They can’t date it. It’s not like trees or fossils.

“The swelling of the tumour causes the pressure. And it’s the pressure that eventually caused the seizure.

“It could have happened at any time, but until about five minutes before, there was nothing. I just started feeling very dizzy very quickly and there was some flashing of lights. I remember falling forward and then some people holding me down and then it’s just like a series of moments of consciousness. Next time I was in an ambulance and then I was in A&E at West Middlesex Hospital.

And, he admits, it has given him a fresh outlook on life.

“It’s very good for putting things in perspective. Not that I don’t moan about all the pathetic things other people moan about as well. But after a while, you can go, oh, I’ve got the freedom to moan about it. You just think about things in a different way.”

It was especially worry for his family, he says.

“I could be lying in a hospital bed plugged into stuff and actually feeling fine, whereas from their point of view it’s ‘oh no, he’s lying in a hospital bed with lots of stuff plugged into him.’

“And they got the call from the programme’s line producer to say I was on my way to hospital. So that’s quite as a shocking thing to get when you are on the bus.

“The luxury for me was you go, ‘well, all I can do is trust these people.’ In a way it’s sort of freeing. It’s all the unknowns that are stressful. Even dealing with being lucky is stressful. Because you think why? Why me?

He had surgery after three weeks to remove the tumour.

“It was accessible, but not totally straightforward,” he says. “I found being in hospital, very uplifting, actually, partly because you’re just surrounded by people that are very caring. There must have been about five other people on that ward all in the same boat. So you don’t feel alone in that sense. It is scary. And I’ve not experienced a thing like that. I can’t pretend that it isn’t.”

The experience is at the heart of his new show ‘So On I Bang’.

“This is the show,” he says. “It’s a story told in a stand-up style. I promise you there are lots of jokes. It’s not me moaning about unsatisfactory customer experience or something I’ve noticed about luggage.

“Hopefully it’s a pure piece of storytelling, with a beginning, a middle and an end. I got a letter from a guy who saw a work in progress gig and he’s been through the same thing. He was saying people around him were worried but it was very cathartic for him.”

So how did the show come about?

“I started writing it down, not in a comedic way, but I thought it would be useful to have a record of it,” he recalls.

“Then I thought, I haven’t done a stand-up tour for six years. And I went to see Blur at Wembley and I just thought it’s great being in a crowd, isn’t it? I just thought I like this thing of a crowd enjoying a thing together so much. And I thought, yes, I should turn that thing into a show and do it, which is a kind of an odd genesis, really. And I like going to theatres!”

While loved as a comic, he is a hot property as screen star – even popping up in Harry Potter.

“I think filming my part in Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix took 20 minutes,” he laughs.

“My costume fitting took longer. I’m a sucker for a straight offer without an audition. There’s a difference between working hard and working a lot. And I think if you’re creating the work yourself, that counts as working hard, if you’re just accepting the work that you’re given that’s not the same. Working on my own has its pleasures in terms of control and being able to fix something quickly, or make adjustments.”

Miles Jupp plays the Oxford Playhouse tonight, Tuesday 16. Tickets have sold out