"I have a problem. Last year my boss at BBC Surrey asked if I would like to learn, and then perform, a short stand-up routine for Comic Relief. Listeners would be asked to "sponsor" me, and the set would be recorded and broadcast by the BBC.
We raised hundreds of pounds, and I ended up on stage in front of two hundred people in Brighton, having the time of my life. With lots of professional performance coaching and assistance, I succeeded in making the audience laugh.
"You've got the bug now, haven't you?" said one of my fellow turns that night, backstage. "Are you ready to spend your days travelling the country, eating service station pasties at two in the morning?"
I wasn't, and I'm not, but he was right. I have got the bug. That's my problem.
A few months after the Brighton gig, I contacted a stand up I know called Sajeela Kershi. As well as being terrifyingly funny, Sajeela hosts a monthly comedy night called The Comedy Cottage in her home town of Redhill.
Earlier that year Sajeela risked catastrophe by allowing me to do a warm-up for my Brighton gig at a Cottage night. It went okay.
So I went back to Sajeela, and wondered, coyly, if she might be prepared to consider allowing me have another go.
Sajeela graciously booked me in. This time it didn't go okay.
The reason? Simples. My Comic Relief performances had been mentored and honed by another Redhill (what is it about that town?) stand up comedian of some genius, Nathaniel Tapley. Natt helped me with my script, performance skills and confidence. He was basically the architect of everything that was good about what the audience saw in Redhill and Brighton.
On my return to the Cottage, I was stupid enough to think I'd be okay if I went it alone. I was wrong. I bombed. And after that, I walked away.
But I've still got the bug.
So I've written a script. I've learned my set. I've tried it out on a couple of people who know what they're talkiing about. And I'm getting ready to do this all over again in front of a paying audience.
I'm as nervous as hell.
I'll let you know how it goes."
I've already done the gig - read about it here.
January's edition of Surrey Life is on sale now for £3.15.
You can find some of my previous columns below: