HE has been making people laugh all over the world for years, and is a regular star of the Edinburgh Festival.

Now Stephen K Amos is preparing to bring his Find The Funny tour to the Pavilion in Bournemouth on Wednesday.

The gay, black, well-spoken law graduate certainly has enough material to draw on for his semi-autobiographical shows.

But he says his latest tour is about going back to basics and showing a new audience that he’s a genuinely funny person.

“This show is more about jokes and observational comedy. It’s definitely not autobiographical this time, and there’s no deep meaning to it.

“I’d just say I’m a really funny bloke… the sort you could talk to down the pub and have a right good laugh with. I’m outgoing and good spirited.”

He never intended to be a comedian: “I studied law at university and then went to America, where a lady told me I was really funny and that I should try comedy.

“I’d never even been to a comedy club back then, but I’m naturally a confident person, so I thought I’d give it a go.”

But comedy isn’t everything to him: “If the right thing comes along, whatever it may be, a documentary, an acting role or a chance to do stand-up, then I’ll give it a go.

“At first I was all about jokes, silly things, showboating – ‘Look at my funny jazz hands’ type stuff. But nothing with any real substance. I just wanted people to see I was funny.

“Then I realised that talking about my personal experiences worked, and the audience reaction was amazing, so I wrote a few shows that were basically semi-autobiographical.”

Stephen has more experience to draw on for his material than most, and often tackles racism, like other comedians including Reginald D Hunter and Omid Djalili.

“Using racism for comedy is not a new thing. You could have said that about Jim Davidson in the ’70s, because racism isn’t a new topic – but the way it’s being dealt with now is different.

“If the comedy is turning racism on its head, and pointing out how stupid it is, then, yes, that is a positive step.

“But I have to say that I do watch some of my comedy peers and I don’t agree with how they use racism to get laughs. It’s a very fine line to tread when dealing with a subject like that.”

Having played all over the world, including America, New Zealand and Australia, Stephen has found certain changes need to be made to his act for different audiences.

“I’m a totally new concept for Australians. They’ve never had anything like me before, a well-spoken black comedian.

“Some people actually thought I was an Aboriginal man doing a really good impression of a posh white man.

“The biggest changes I have to make are when I’m in America. I genuinely have to talk slower, so they understand me, and I have to change certain words or phrases.

“They don’t understand pavement, it’s a sidewalk – and they don’t know what a car park is, it’s a parking lot. And they honestly can’t comprehend how I say the word ‘water’.”

On a previous visit to the South Coast, Stephen experienced one of the worst moments of his stand-up career in a Southampton club.

“God, yes, that was awful. It was when I was still touring the clubs and pubs, years ago.

“The night was going really well and everyone was laughing except for one man in the audience, so I made of point of asking him why he didn’t find me funny.

“He wouldn’t answer me at all, wouldn’t even talk, so his friend said to me: ‘Carry on mate, he doesn’t talk to niggers.’ “Naturally I was shocked and I had them both thrown out. The whole audience started shouting: ‘Out! Out! Out!’.”

In 2007 Stephen was one of the stars of the Royal Variety Performance and performed in front of the Queen. Surely the highlight of any comedian’s career?

“No, but it was definitely a highlight for my mum,” said Stephen with a silky smooth laugh.

“The highlight of my career was probably my documentary (Batty Man) or performing with all the great comedians at Prince Charles’ 60th birthday celebrations.”