FLICKY HARRISON hears what frightens comedian Tom Allen

Staying in a haunted hotel and appearing on the Royal Variety Show are two of the scariest moments of comedian Tom Allen’s life - so far!

Tom was asked to appear alongside Louis from One Direction, Joan Collins and Torvill and Dean on the famous variety show but it was the same day there was a terror scare in London, an hour before the show.

Tom said: “It was terrifying, but everyone turned up and, although we started a bit late, we did it.

“Joan Collins kindly pointed out I had a bit of loo roll stuck to the bottom of my shoe. It was thrilling!

“My mum and dad were in the front row, just below the royal box – all my fears in one place.’’

While on tour Tom was staying in a hotel that had been featured on Britain’s Most Haunted.

“I slept with the lights on,’’ he said. “It was a wedding venue soThere was only one other guest staying on that Sunday night,and in the morning there was only me for breakfast. He had disappeared!’’

The comedian is a regular at the Edinburgh Festival and is currently in the middle of a UK tour with his new show, Absolutely, which was a big hit at this year’s Fringe.

“It is all about the story, my story, based on my living with mum and dad, my efforts to save enough to own my own house, tolead an aspirational life and foolishly getting my dad to teach me how to drive My life is hampered with good intentions,’’ said Tom, who was a guest on the latest Strictly It Takes Two series.

“I am a fan of Strictly, it’s British camp; frivolous but making it serious, an extravaganza.

“And they were nice to me on the show - even Debbie McGee, after I said she was 98 years old! She was a good sport.’’

Tom has been guest on a number of other television shows including Mock the Week, Live At The Apollo and 8 Out of 10 Cats Does Countdown.

“Mock The Week is a Strictly of its own kind. You need to be witty in the moment. It’s all banter and a nice challenge,’’ said Tom.

The comedian started out in acting, training with the National Youth Theatre.

“At the time, it was before the internet was such a big thing. if you felt weird or an outsider, like I did, I was like Noel Coward the youth theatre allowed you to meet like minded people,’’ said Tom, who was one of the youngest member of the Noel Coward Society as a teenager.

“I got to meet John Mills, that was fun. I love Noel Coward’s language, it’s clever.’’

Tom will be bringing his own comedic language to Swindon’s Arts Centre in Old Town on February 9. Tickets are £16.50 from 01793 524481 or visit www.swindontheatres.com.