IN many ways life for Des Clarke has come full circle but at the same time he couldn't be further from where he started.

His new 11-date Scottish tour, The Trouble With Being Des, opens at the Citizens Theatre in Glasgow next weekend.

The venue is only a stone's throw from the site of the Gorbals tower block where Des spent his early childhood and attended nearby St John's Primary.

He hilariously reminisces about his days as a "real weird looking kid".

"Do you remember the guy in your class who had what was called 'bum fluff' above his upper lip?" he says. "I was that guy. I had permanent bum fluff all the way through primary school. So I don't think I found comedy - comedy found me.

"I see old photographs of myself and I look like Super Mario. This little fat guy with a tache. People would mistake me for the school janny."

The Trouble With Being Des is packed with similarly side-splitting material.

"I tried for years to get onto the school football team," he says. "The moment I realised it wasn't going to happen was when I was a substitute, we were getting beat 5-0 and, for the last five minutes, the manager sent a dog on. It was like a dagger to the heart."

Two decades have passed since Des first found his calling as a 12-year-old in a talent show at Holyrood Secondary School on the south side of Glasgow.

He did his first stand-up gig at 19 and his big break arrived at 22 when he landed a presenting job on ITV Saturday morning children's show SM:TV Live, following in the footsteps of Ant and Dec.

In Scottish terms, Des has gone on to enjoy a raft of success. He is the cheeky chappy who hosted the 2014 Commonwealth Games closing ceremony, pops up in panto and whose laughter fills the airwaves each morning on the Capital FM Scotland breakfast show.

Yet Des is keen to fulfil his long-held childhood dream: to be known as a stand-up comedian.

"I think the perception is, because I have had success with other things, that I had stopped doing stand-up," he says.

"People would say to me: 'Oh, I see you're back gigging' or ask: 'When did you start doing stand-up?' I think: 'I've being doing this since I was 19!'"

The Trouble With Being Des may be the first step in his grand plan for world domination but he already has a taste for the big arena tour life.

"I've been lucky enough to do warm-up in the Hydro - three different gigs," he says. "One was warming-up for Nicki Minaj at the MTV EMA awards. I'm trying to get her to warm-up for me at the Citizens Theatre but no call back yet - the campaign continues."

But if you're looking for wild tales of debauchery from the MTV EMAs after party, Des isn't your man.

"I'm rubbish and a terrible networker," he admits. "I should have gone to the after party but I thought: 'I just want my bed.'

"Here's the thing: Bono isn't waiting for a taxi at 3am, David Hasselhoff isn't catching the night bus."

Also in the pipeline is a six-part comedy series for BBC Radio Scotland, Des Clarke Exposed, which will air this summer.

"It's about peeling the layers away and hopefully maturing as a performer," he says. "I've been doing stand-up comedy for 15 years now but for a lot of people out there I'll be new to them. I could be the most experienced newcomer in comedy history - that's my angle. It's like a rebirth for me."

Des and his girlfriend Deborah, 34, a psychology student, live on the Clydeside in Glasgow but he remains fiercely proud of his Gorbals roots.

He recalls happy childhood afternoons spent gazing out of the window on the 21st floor and watching the trains flit back and forth at Central Station.

Des is the youngest of two children. His dad Dermot was a bricklayer by trade who ran his own company, while mum Ann helped out with the business.

The family mode of transportation was his dad's transit work van. "You didn't want to be dropped off at the school disco in the van, you wanted to be dropped off round the corner," says Des.

"There was only three seats in the transit van and four in the family so as the youngest I had to sit in the back. I would be on a work bench with all these tools rattling about.

"Do you know when you see those Japanese earthquake videos? That was me trying to get a lift up to the Asda."

The Trouble With Being Des will open at the Citizens Theatre, Glasgow, on March 28 before touring Scotland until June 5. For more information, visit