IS Ed Byrne being hard on himself?

That is what the Irish comedian is mulling over with his latest tour, If I’m Honest.

On usual self deprecating form, the dad-of-two will be taking a long hard look at himself and trying to decide if he has any traits that are worth passing on to his children.

He said: “I do genuinely annoy myself.

“But the thing of your children being a reflection of you, gives you an opportunity to build something out of the best of yourself only for you to then see flashes of the worst of yourself in them.

“It’s a wake-up call about your own behaviour.”

Ed sees stand-up as a natural platform for a very public examination of your own flaws – and he would not have it any other way.

The 47-year-old added: “Self-aggrandising humour is a lot harder to pull off than self-deprecating humour.

“A lot of people get really annoyed when Ricky Gervais is self-congratulatory.

“I always find it very funny when he accepts awards and does so in the most big-headed way possible.

“I think it’s a trickier type of humour to pull off, talking yourself up in that way.

“So I don’t think I’m being massively hard on myself.

“The fact is when you’re the bloke who is standing on the stage with the microphone, commanding an audience’s attention, you’re in a very elevated position anyway.”

Ed will also touch upon gender politics – and stick up for men – in his latest show.

He said: “I’ll admit that there are things where men get a raw deal.

“We have higher suicide rates, and we tend not to do well in divorces, but representation in action movies is not something we have an issue with.

“It was Mad Max: Fury Road that kicked it all off, even though nobody complained about Ripley in Alien or Sarah Connor in Terminator 2.

“Of course, social media means this stuff gets broadcast far and wide in an instant, which emboldens people.

“The problem with men’s rights activists is that it’s not about speaking up for men’s rights, it’s about hating women.

“If you’re a men’s rights activist, you’re not going to care about the fact that there’s an all-female Ghostbusters remake.

“That’s nothing to do with men’s rights or female entitlement. That’s everything to do with being, well, a whiny baby.”

Not that Ed, a regular on Mock The Week and The Graham Norton Show, ever wants his shows to become a full-on rant.

He added: “I did stuff about Trump and the Pizzagate right wing conspiracy and a couple of the reviewers said: ‘Oh, I would have liked to have watched a whole show of this’.

“And I think: ‘Well you might have, but the average person who comes to see me would not like to see that’.

“I like to make a point or get something off my chest, or perhaps I’m talking about something that’s been on my mind, but the majority of stuff is just to get laughs.

“People who come to see me are not political activists necessarily, they’re regular folk.

“If you can make a point to them, in between talking about your struggles with ageing, or discussing your hernia operation or whatever it is, you can toss in something that does give people pause as regards to how men should share the household chores.’

“It’s not that I feel a responsibility, I think it just feels more satisfying when you’re doing it, and it feels more satisfying when people hear it.

“When a joke makes a good point, I think people enjoy it. It’s the difference between having a steak and eating a chocolate bar.”

Besides, if Ed’s shows were edgy and political, most of us would miss his middle aged life hacks and the little victories of married life with kids.

Ed said: “I thought I was being quite upbeat talking about the small victories.

“You know, finding positivity in being able to spot when a cramp was about to happen in your leg and dealing with it before it does. I was very happy with myself about that. You see comics who are my age and older but are still retaining a level of ‘cool’ and drawing a young crowd. I can’t deny that I’m quite envious of that. But there’s also something very satisfying about your audience growing old with you...”

Ed Byrne performs at the Parr Hall on Tuesday. Visit