LOVE Island and CBBC fame made him a household name – but Iain Stirling returns to his stand-up roots as he embarks on his biggest tour to date.

Stirling will take his Relevant tour on the road across the UK and Ireland – including dates in Glasgow, Dundee, Dunfermline and Aberdeen in April – before concluding on May 31 at Edinburgh’s Festival Theatre.

In the build-up, the comedian admits he’s feeling an added weight of pressure and responsibility.

“It’s the first time I’ve felt nervous about a tour,” Stirling said. “To be in this industry as long as I have and still have people coming to shows is wild. I’m a bit philosophical about the whole thing and realise what a fortunate position it is to be in.”

Among other observations, Relevant explores the unusual dichotomy that Stirling faces as a first-time dad in his mid-30s who is also being the voice of Love Island.

Parenthood is a difficult task for anyone and Stirling is finding this challenge no different. He said: “What’s mad about children is that it’s this moment in your life that feels so massive and so earth-shattering and unique to you that it feels like no-one else can possibly be going through it. But at the same, it is quite literally the most universal thing in the world.”

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Stirling’s comedy career took shape in Edinburgh and he acknowledged the importance of the Fringe in his journey, admitting that “if it wasn’t for the Edinburgh Fringe then I wouldn’t be doing any of this now”.

He added: “I went to school in Liberton, a fantastic place, lovely school and everyone was trying their hardest but there wasn’t any money at my school for a drama department or school plays. I had never heard of any of that stuff until I went to Fringe and I saw stand-up.

“It was the first time I ever saw someone do something on stage that wasn’t posh and middle class. I always thought ‘on stage’ meant doing Shakespeare. It felt like a foreign thing that was unattainable to me – and then I fell in love with it.”

Stirling had a run of dates at the Fringe during the year that Love Island blew up. The opening section of this show included a three-minute off-stage announcement, joking that people were only there for his famous voice.

It meant he could gauge whether it was going to be a good crowd or not before he had even stepped on stage.

“It was funny being backstage and knowing they’d be tough or knowing they’d be great,” he said. “If you’re at the Fringe about three weeks in and there’s possibly been a bad review and you’re a bit down and hungover, the next thing you know you’ve got your head on the microphone and thinking, ‘I’ve got to get through an hour of this!’.”

The Scot started stand-up when he was at university in Edinburgh and toured the circuit across the city. Stirling noted how the comedy landscape and how comics approach their craft has completely changed from when he was starting out on the scene.

“It feels a lot more professional and a lot more hard work,” he said. “When I started doing stand-up you could make a very reasonable living doing the circuit, doing the clubs and doing your 20 minutes.

"When I was up and coming, we were doing an hour at the Fringe and all these older guys were like, ‘Just get your 20 minutes in, have a laugh and have a drink’. But we weren’t drinking as we had a gig the next day. It felt like we were the new hardworking generation.”

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Stirling believes that the next generation of comedians have taken this work ethic and ambition to the next level as they have to not only write and perform but also take care of promotion on social media and editing videos and so on.

Some of Stirling’s most viral stand-up moments come from improvised audience interaction, which he credits partly to his Scottish upbringing. “I love audience interaction,” he said. “It’s something you learn as a stand-up but also it’s probably to do with how I grew up. You had to be quick. Everyone was having a go all the time, it was just part of my upbringing.”

One of the most notable examples of this unpredictable and organic audience interaction came during a live recording of a show at London’s Alexandra Palace Theatre during Stirling’s Failing Upwards tour.

A man in the front row left to go to the toilet mid-show and Stirling decided to fill time for about seven minutes before his return. Stirling admitted he was “bricking it” as the improv was being recorded as if it wasn’t used in the final edit then it would feel disjointed.

“He didn’t want to disrupt the show so he was waiting outside. Someone from my tour ran around Ally Pally, which is not a small place, and found him and told him that Iain was waiting for him.

“It was pure fear when I decided to wait and it didn’t feel like he was coming back. There was also the fear of what if he thought it was shite and just left, so during the filming of my special there would be people walking out. Thankfully that wasn’t the case.”