JONATHAN Pie, the frustrated TV news reporter whose vexed videos have gone viral, is losing it nightly on a national tour that will send him ballistic at York Barbican on Wednesday.

His 30-date itinerary of incandescence also will take him to Hull City Hall on March 24 with his Jonathan Pie: Back To The Studio show.

Here, Tom Walker, the man behind Jonathan Pie, discusses Pie, politics, satire, Trump, Thatcher and old blankets.

Who is Jonathan Pie, Tom?

"Jonathan Pie is a frustrated news reporter. He’s frustrated with his job. He’s frustrated with the state of news media and mainly he’s angry at the state of politics. He’s pretty good at his job but the moment the cameras stop rolling he can’t help but rant about the state of the world…and he's quite fond of what some might call ‘colourful’ language."

How did the character first emerge?

"I'd been an actor for 15 years and had been out of work for most it. I was very frustrated myself and I felt I needed to do something to keep me sane. I’d had this character in my head for a few years but had never done anything with it. I just wondered what real news reporters do when the camera stops rolling. The politics was secondary at the start. Now it’s front and centre of almost everything I do."

What can audiences expect from the Jonathan Pie: Back To The Studio 2018 tour?

"A good laugh, I hope. What’s great about a live show is you have much more time to explore ideas. So, it’s great to play with the audience’s expectations. It’d be too easy to stand there for an hour and hurl insults at Trump or the Tories. Trust me, I’ll being doing a lot of that but I also like to challenge the audience. Hold a mirror up to them and show that us lefties don’t always get it right either."

Why has your style of political satire become so popular?

"Well, to the younger generation, Pie’s brand of angry political satire seems new and original. But if you go back to the Thatcher years this sort of thing was mainstream, which is why the older generations really get it and love it also. So, to some, it's brand new and original and, to others, it’s old and familiar. Like an old blanket."

Is it difficult to find new ways to tackle the same political subject matter in a comedic way, be it Brexit, Trump or General Elections?

"Yes. Writing a live show is in some ways easier because you have time to hone things and to play with ways to make it appear bang up to date. On my weekly videos, it's a constant struggle to work out what to write about and find ways to keep it fresh."

You now have more than a million 'likes' on Facebook. At what stage did you notice your social following significantly increase?

"One random October day in 2015, one of my videos went viral and this has been my job ever since. It was literally overnight. The video I did after Trump was elected has been viewed over 150 million times, which certainly gave my numbers a bump. And more recently the election solidified my following with several videos going viral."

How do you transform your three-minute social media clips into an hour-long live show?

"How to write a Pie Live script: Firstly, you have to work out why Pie would be in a theatre talking to 1,000 people. You then have to find a way to explain who he is for people who have been dragged there and have no context as to who this person is.

"You then have to write some jokes and, most importantly for Pie, you have to have something to say. You want people to go to the pub after and talk politics and dissect the show. You want every audience member to have had their world view challenged in some way. You then litter the script with some inventive swearing"

Do you have to change how you write for Jonathan Pie when writing for a live show?

"Not so much change how I write for the character but a live hour-long monologue has to be much more authored and nuanced than a three-minute monologue. So, it’s a different kind of writing."

Apart from the tour, what does the immediate future hold for Jonathan Pie?

"Well, it’d be nice to see him on the telly."

Jonathan Pie: Back To The Studio will be let loose at York Barbican, February 28; Hull City Hall, March 24. Box office: York, 0844 854 2757 or; Hull, 01482 300306 or