Taking part in The Island with Bear Grylls made comedian Mark Watson truly grateful for his every day life.

The comedian said he was under no illusions about it and fully expected it to be awful.

"It was the sort of thing I did not want to do but it was something I couldn't not do,'' he said. "I would be tormented by regret. In the long view it was a good thing to do, I learned lessons and appreciated my privileged life of wine and shelter,'' he said.

The comedian is also a novelist and his book, Dan And Sam, has been optioned as a feature film by Steven Spielberg's Ambin Entertainment. He also had a gimmick for one of this Edinburgh shows, saying that he would write a story from audience suggestions.

"It was an over ambitious thing, an experiment to see what came out of it,'' he said.

Bordering on the ridiculous is stock in trade for the comedian, as he has also done a number of Fringe marathons. "I love exploring everything,'' he said.

His new show, Mark Watson: The Infinite Show, is currently touring the UK, heading for Swindon on Friday, May 31.

Mark said: "The show is all about empathy, connections between humans, particularly at the moment when people in the Government can not agree long enough to run the country.

"It is about mutual understanding and contributing. If we look after a small circle a positive change happens in life, like ripples in the stream, the more out and out they go the more it works,'' he said.

There will also be a rant a minute and jokes in there too. "I love the sight of making people laugh,'' he said.

Unlike The Island the comedian says he really enjoyed his time on TV's Taskmaster, being cluster bombed with yoghurt. "You get to be yourself and explore comedy, it is chance to be out of your comfort zone and I relish that sort of thing.''

On the more serious side, Mark has a big project on hand, writing the book for a musical interpretation of Anna Karenina.

"I had not thought about working on a musical, I know the novel,'' said Mark. "If the stars align we will be doing that next year.

Mark is a familiar face as a guest on various TV shows including Celebrity Mastermind, Have I Got News For You, and Never Mind The Buzzcocks.

"It was musical fun but I am not musically talented, I would love to play the piano. Celebrity Mastermind I was up against Lucy Porter - a nightmare quizzer.''

At school Mark the accolade of Gabber of The Year in a public speaking competition. "I remember one of the judges said that I was more stand-up than public speaking!''

But it was when he went to university that Mark's interest in comedy was sparked. It was when he joined the Footlights. "I still had no idea that it would be a full time career,'' he said.

Mark Watson: The Infinite Show is in the Wyvern Theatre on Friday, May 31 Tickets are £22.50 on 01793 524481 or visit www.swindontheatres.co.uk - Flicky Harrison