YOU always know what to expect from Ross Noble – a full-flowing stream of consciousness, but the route that stream takes is ever-varying, tangential and easily distractable by anything that happens to be floating past.

Here, the outsized The Geordie comic was back at Lighthouse for the second time in two years, this occasion being the Jibber Jabber Jamboree tour which runs throughout February and March, including two nights at the London Palladium.

In a sense, it doesn’t really matter what he calls his tours because it will still be improvisational, observational, very physical and utterly surreal to the nth degree.

One previous time I saw him live he spent most of the second half riffing about a classic Compton Organ which has been entertaining the masses for nearly a century. Script? Who needs one.

Then again, and whisper his name, that reminds me I also saw Russell Brand spend the whole of a first half of a performance reading out bits from this very publication. And jolly entertaining it was too.

But back to Noble, who still resembles the half-brother of 1970s animated character Crystal Tipps (but, sadly, no Alistair to be seen), and whose appearance here was long sold out.

The stage was dressed with four giant, inflatable monkey heads made to look like fallen statues. Huge creepers covered with flowers shot out across the stage from behind them; more fell from upon high to form a backdrop.

Just another night in the Noble household then and, unsurprisingly, the set wasn’t mentioned – apart from monkey-themed music played during the interval and a short routine about organ grinders and monkeys. He makes an effort, does Noble, compared to those comics who travel with just a table laid with a bottle of water.

Noble s well known as a regular panellist on Have I Got News For You, QI, I’m Sorry I Haven’t A Clue and Just A Minute, presents of Freewheeling and Ross Noble Goes Global, and starred in The Producers and Young Frankenstein on stage.

But it’s live where he most comes into his own – long winded flights of fancy not being hugely appreciated in the structured world of radio and television.

Noble, aptly dressed all in black, is very much the thirstiest vampire of current comedians, who nightly feeds off members of his audience to satisfy himself and anyone else present who doesn’t succumb to his charms and become one of his victims.

The hilarious first 20 minutes seemed to be nothing but audience reaction as he surveyed the front rows, upbraided clueless latecomers (‘this show very much rewards the punctual’) and somehow arrived at a scenario including the St John Ambulance, Phantom of the Opera, Cornettoes and people in gondolas ‘gondaling’ along the front of the stage.

One victim in the front row, seemingly armed with a spade to keep digging, was pure comedy gold. Nominated as Noble’s ‘moral barometer’, she proved not entirely suited to the task and thus, he returned to her time and time again.

It remained perfectly non-linear after that with a running gag about GB News and why he’d had to have a haircut repeatedly pushed to one side as a new train of thought shuddered to a halt in the busy station of his brain.

There was a basic structure, with routines about the King’s prostate (featuring, among others, Princes Andrew and Harry and the William Tell Overture), how the game Guess Who? Is too complicated these days, how his long-suffering wife Fran puts up with his antics and mannerisms at home and how he ended up performing a comedy routine with the ashes of an audience’s member’s late mother.

His facial expressions are a joy to behold, particularly the fake look of horror when he may have overstepped the mark. There were also brief but good impressions of Dara Ó Briain, Alan Carr, Bill Bailey and a slug being salted by tears.

Add in his incessant insisting that he had not been diagnosed with ADHD, Nigel Farage, Marconi, Alisha Keys, Michael Jackson, Mickey Mouse, Victorian freakshows, the world’s biggest top hat, escape rooms, severed hands, Nazi salutes, the plastic ‘tiny tables’ in pizza boxes, Greta Thunberg, Bernard Manning as a wellness guru, hawk dating, leper colonies and the RNLI and you pretty much have the show.

Noble describes himself as the IKEA comedian – he gives you all the elements but you have to put them together yourself – but the ringmaster in him retains total control over this circus and he always shepherds proceedings back to where he wants them.

Oh, the haircut? He was fed up being mistaken for Neil Oliver the, er, ‘interesting’ former presenter of Coast who now presents on GB News.