Welsh comic actor-turned-chat show host Rob Brydon talks socks, singing, impressions and The Rob Brydon Show (Fridays, BBC2)…

What’s the format for your new chat show?
“I do a bit of stand-up, then the first guest comes on and they do their bit. We have an up-and-coming stand-up comedian on each week, and a musical guest who has a chat with me as well as performing. The audience gets the chance to ask questions, too.”

You’ve already fronted a chat show in the guise of hapless cab driver Keith Barret. How does this compare?
“It’s different, because Keith was a character I could hide behind. But having done The Keith Barret Show helps at a technical level because it means I have sat there before with a guest opposite me and known I had to come up with a funny 20 minutes.”

What makes a good chat show host?
“I like to think that I let people talk but, at the same time, I’m there to be funny, so I will be interjecting. If you’ve got someone like Stephen Fry on, he can talk until the cows have come home and gone upstairs to bed.”

We hear you’ll be joining in on the music front. Are you aiming for another No 1 record?
“I’m not looking for a record contract. Basically I encourage my musical guests to do a few bits and bobs – just kind of riffing – and I may join in.”

Ronnie Corbett is a guest later in the run. Were you tempted to do your impression of him?
“I tried – and failed – to restrain myself. Ronnie was also on the new series of Would I Lie to You? and I couldn’t stop doing it then, either. It’s like an addiction.”

You often Tweet about your choice of socks. What do you wear on the show?
“I tend to go for the traditional long black or navy socks. But for the Ronnie Corbett interview, I wore a duck-egg blue pair, because he wears very bright socks. They turned out to be identical to the ones he was wearing.”

You encourage audience participation in your shows – do you enjoy it?
“There’s always an air of danger, because you don’t know what’s going to happen. I grew up watching Barry Humphries and he’s a master of it. I try to find the characters in the audience, and sometimes you strike gold. The audience like it because they sense something’s happening in the moment.”

Which of the TV programmes you’ve made are you most proud of?
“I was very proud of The Keith Barret Show, because that involved improvising in character. Marion and Geoff and Human Remains made my name, and I think they stood out at the time. Nobody had heard of us then, and we were desperate to prove ourselves.”