Ben Elton Live, York Barbican

TURBO-CHARGED political comedian Ben Elton made a name for himself in the 80s as the angry young man of stand-up.

Back then, there was plenty to be angry about, mostly revolving around Margaret Thatcher and the Tories.

It's 15 years since Ben, now aged 60, has toured, but fans who thought he was hitting the road again to take on Brexit might have been disappointed to discover the real reason.

"My wife's going through the change," he told a packed Barbican last night. "Why do you think I've come on tour?"

The generation gap between baby boomers like him and Millennials and teens was more the target of his pin-sharp observations than the chaos of Brexit during his energetic two-hour show.

The shocking raunchiness of BBC sitcoms, the worrying conflict over gender identity issues, and the fact that you can't get a decent pint of lager or loaf of bread because of hipster artisan brewery and bakery products, were his fireworks of the night.

Oh, and that he wishes the world wide web hadn't been invented because the internet is reversing all the good brought to civilisation by the enlightenment.

But if any fans were thinking he'd gone soft during his time away, he reverted to type towards the finale, with a full-on verbal assault on Boris Johnson. "The only thing we have got out of Brexit is the worst Prime Minister in the history of British democracy," he said – to the biggest cheer of the night.

Like the Labour party, Ben avoided taking sides over Brexit. He said he could see the pros and cons of both – which might prove a canny position as he takes his tour across a Britain as divided as it is today.

Maxine Gordon