The title of Stephen K Amos’s new show, The Spokesman, is ironic.

Among the things that the London comic would least like to be, he says a spokesman is right up there.

“I couldn’t be a spokesperson or a role model,” he says, “People often say to me ‘do this, do that’ and I say ‘no, I have my own issues and if I can’t be 100 per cent certain about what I’m saying, I’m not going to speak up about it’.”

Stephen was asked for his views on social matters after making a Channel 4 documentary called Batty Man in 2007 which won a Royal Television Society Award.

“I did Batty Man because I knew someone who had been killed in a homophobic attack. That was my impetus to speak out, but then I was asked to appear on all these current affairs shows, Newsnight and so on, and be a spokesperson,” he says. “I said ‘no; there’s more to me than that and I don’t want to be defined as a black gay comic’. My stuff is much more than just being black and gay. It doesn’t define me; we’re all different and there’s a myriad of people in the gay world.”

Among the issues he looks at in his show are phobias, which he believes we’re not born with.

“It’s a trigger or something that happens that affects you; if you had it as a child you might be affected forever,” he says. “I can’t swim, and the idea of going into the ocean fills me with dread. Then there’s a fear of heights. When you’re a kid, you’re climbing up on everything and nothing is off-limits until adults say, ‘don’t do that, that’s dangerous’. I try to find ways of overcoming these fears but I haven’t found any. One thing I would say is don’t try skydiving while drunk.”

He has teased out some odd phobias and fears from audiences. “Someone said grabbing their own throat. Another said holes that were too close together.”

While he admits that touring can be a tough slog, he’s not alone among the comedy fraternity in believing he has the best job in the world. “I don’t know of any other line of work where you can go up before a captive audience and say what your perception is on anything at all,” he says.

His profile was raised with The Stephen K Amos Show, a sketch and stand-up BBC TV show which gained a hefty number of viewers for its only series in 2010.

“When I did the show we should’ve got two series written into the contract. We got a million viewers so it wasn’t a failure in terms of numbers. Live At The Apollo and McIntyre’s Roadshow get the same figures, so it’s a bit of a mystery why we couldn’t do more,” he says.

He’s currently riding high on the radio airwaves. “I’m doing Life: An Idiot’s Guide and a sitcom by Jonathan Harvey called What Does The K Stand For?: I write the top and tail of the show and he writes the body, he’s very amusing. I didn’t do radio before TV - people usually do it the other way round, but you have to learn a lot to make it work.”

He’s also proving himself as an actor, having appeared in the plays One Flew Over The Cuckoo’s Nest and Talk Radio, and he plans to do more this year. “I’m going to be in America for three months and I’ll put some feelers out for a bit of acting while I’m there,” he says.

  • Stephen K Amos is at the Alhambra Studio on Friday, January 31, and Saturday, February 1. For tickets ring (01274) 432000.