MARK Addy usually has more preparation for a performance. Script readings, rehearsals, more than one take of a scene, the familiar routines of an actor's life.

Saturday, August 1, 4.15pm, will be different, however. "Mark Addy, York's favourite actor and comedian in conversation with Robert Ross", reads the listing in the Great Yorkshire Fringe brochure, introducing his participation in the Great Yorkshire Fringe Yorkshire Day Podcasts.

Pretty much all that sentence was news to Mark, the 51-year-old York star of The Full Monty, The Flintstones in Viva Rock Vegas, First Knight and more recently Game Of Thrones, The Syndicate, Trollied, Remember Me and Atlantis, when The Press rang last Monday (JULY 13). He could confirm he would be in conversation, but as for the rest...

...It says your "York's favourite actor and comedian", Mark. "Well, I'm not a comedian," he says. "I don't know; it's a weird one! I wouldn't call myself a comedian, not in the true sense of what a comedian is." Maybe not, but you make people laugh, Mark. "And I'd probably say that Berwick Kaler and Judi Dench are York's most popular actors," he says. He may have a point there, although Berwick is strictly a prophet in his own pantoland.

Event host Robert Ross will be new to Mark. "All I know is I'll be in conversation; beyond that I don't yet know what it will involve! We haven't discussed it yet," he says. "But I've done Q and A's before and film press conferences, but we won't be flogging anything for once, which is a nice feeling!"

Mark's invitation to participate in his home city's ten-day festival of the "weird, wise and very wonderful" came from director Martin Witts, who he does know. Phew! "We were both in the backstage crew at York Theatre Royal at the same time, along with Matthew Marchus [now artistic director of the Old Vic in London], who was sweeping the stage with us," he says.

"This year Martin got in touch with me. Well actually, he bumped into me in York, and asked me if I'd like to do the festival."

Mark will take the unpredictability of the August 1 event in his stride. "I'm fairly laid-back; if I can make it entertaining or amusing, that's a bonus, though that tends to depend on the questions you're asked," he says. "Of course, I could be like a politician and give an answer completely different to the question asked!"

Mark's afternoon session in the chair falls on Yorkshire Day, and for this son of Tang Hall, who has performed on the York Theatre Royal and Hull Truck stages, as well as playing redundant Sheffield steelworker Dave in The Full Monty, Yorkshire is always in his heart. "Yorkshire is important to me. I still live in York," he says. "I did my stint in London when I went to drama school and you feel you have to stay down there to get a job, but I got a fair amount of work at Hull Truck and the Theatre Royal, so you end up paying for where you live in London but you're working in Yorkshire. I finally moved back here in 1996, just after I filmed The Full Monty."

It was the same year he married Kelly Johnson; they have three children now, Oscar, Ruby and Charlie, and family life revolves around Yorkshire. "It's important to have stability, rather than uprooting them every few years," he says. "You do have to travel as an actor, and I go down to London for meetings and everyone understands that's part of it, but I'd rather do that than live there 24/7," says Mark.

"You get caught up in the pace of London and it's not necessary. You can still find yourself running around York, and you suddenly think, 'Why am I doing this? This is York!"

Mark's most recent screen role has seen him play Hercules in BBC1's fantasy adventureAtlantis, but that Herculean effort is no more. "The BBC have cancelled it after two series, and they've left it open-ended, which is a bit of a let-down for everyone," he says.

Nevertheless, he has a new television series on the horizon. "I've been working on a drama for ITV called Jericho, written by Steve Thompson, who's done episodes for Doctor Who and Sherlock," says Mark.

"I'm playing a detective, Earl Bamford, in a turn-of-the-century/Victorian story based around the building of the railway viaduct in a frontier town..."

...A frontier town? Is it set in America, Mark? "No it's the Yorkshire Dales, but with the feel of a Western. It's a period drama, about the workers, rather than the bosses, focusing on the navvies and their wives," says Mark. "I'm in and out of the story, but there's no other law in this town than Bamford's!"

Filming finishes in October and Mark anticipates the eight-part series running from January next year. In the meantime, he will play his part in the Great Yorkshire Fringe, ten days of comedy, cabaret, music, theatre and family shows in the heart of Yorkshire.

"The northern sense of humour is world renowned and it's great to be joining in a celebration of comedy in York that hopefully people will really support," he says.

The Great Yorkshire Fringe Yorkshire Day Podcast with Mark Addy, in conversation with Robert Ross, White Rose Rotunda, Tykes Green, Parliament Street, York, August 1, 4.15pm. Box office: 01904 500600 or