ROB Auton can talk. And talk. And talk. About talking.

The York-born comedian and poet is back on home turf this weekend with The Talk Show, "the second best reviewed comedy show at last summer's Edinburgh Fringe", as he walks the Talk on a 32-date tour, his biggest yet.

On Saturday, Rob can be found below ground, in The Basement at City Screen, at the invitation of Al Greaves' Burning Duck Comedy Club.

He looks only a little different from his last appearance in his home city in March last year, when he had left his hair and beard to their own devices/vices since September 2016, in the name of research for The Hair Show.

"I'm still somewhat hirsute, I would say, but I did cut my hair and shaved the beard off last October after the tour ended, but it's all come back, though not quite as big as it was," says Rob. "My parents said, 'Don't let it get back to that state again' – and it was quite alarming how people reacted to all that hair!"

York Press:

Rob Auton before growing his hair. Picture: Julian Ward

beard dThe Talk Show emerged from spending "a lot of time on my own writing and getting a bit rusty when you don't keep the meter ticking for conversation". "You do lose those skills. You have to keep that in check, and when I realised I wasn't speaking to as many people as I usually would, I felt the isolation, I felt withdrawn, being on my own," says Rob.

"It made me listen to people more, in the Post Office, in the supermarket, on trains. I was like a vulture, picking everything up, and it was the best feeling. No-one will ever capture the magic of listening to a conversation. Real-life drama is priceless and no-one can re-create that on TV or in a film, but hopefully this show is a celebration of that.

"Hopefully I can get people excited about talking to each other. When there's so much going on at the moment that's negative, when we're focusing on things that are temporary, I want to send a message that things like talking to each other are good for us.

York Press:

Rob Auton in The Yellow Show

"A lot of the time people are on their mobiles it's because they're gagging for human interaction and they get addicted to it, so what's important is trying to connect with each other.

"I've dedicated my life to it now, and with this show I'm putting everything into making it interesting and memorable as I turn the microscope on myself and how I feel about things."

Time waits for no man, and so, while he tours, Rob is writing his new show about...time. "So now my brain is shifting to that," he says, in preparation for the 2019 Edinburgh Fringe.

In keeping with The Yellow Show, The Water Show, The Sleep Show, The Hair Show and The Talk Show, the title will be The Time Show. "I used to work in advertising but wasn't very good at it, but one thing I did learn was that you have to keep things simple, when people don't have time to think about it." Hence the short, snappy titles.

York Press:

Rob Auton in The Hair Show. Picture: Julian Ward 

Back in 2013, by the way, Rob won the Funniest Joke Of The Fringe in the Dave awards with this gem: "I heard a rumour Cadbury’s are releasing an oriental chocolate bar; could be a Chinese Wispa." Invited by Vanessa Feltz to tell another to her six million BBC Radio 2 listeners, he told one about knowing it was the end of the world because, when he poured milk on his Rice Krispies, all he heard was silence.

"That's just sad," said Vanessa. Maybe not the best career epitaph to put on his gravestone, but definitely one to talk about.

Rob Auton: The Talk Show, Burning Duck Comedy Club, The Basement, City Screen, York, March 9, 7.30pm, sold out.