TV star Andy Parsons is on a mission to unite the country and make us all feel better during troubled times.

The star of Mock the Week, Al Murray’s Quiz Show and many other TV comedies says: “I think we’re a nation desperate to be healed, in the sense that people would rather come together than diverge,” he says.

“In the current media analysis, everyone is in the centre of their own social media bubble, and everything is kicking off left, right and centre.

“So the idea for the tour was that rather than being incredibly one-sided and partisan and throwing stuff at the opposition, it’s nice to see both sides of the argument.

“I’ll be taking on viewpoints that wouldn’t normally find a natural home in one of my stand-up sets and try to genuinely see the other side of that argument.”

As he prepares to take Healing The Nation on the road, Andy is clear that while the country seems utterly divided with individuals permanently lodged on their own unwavering side of the debate, he believes that there are always more issues that unite rather than separate us.

And he remains upbeat about the future: “The general thrust of everything I’ve ever done has an optimistic note to it, and there is always something in the glass rather than there being something missing from it.

“The idea in the show is that everything is proving divisive at the moment, and that no-one is talking to each other or seeing issues from both sides.

“Essentially, people have the same concerns whether it’s health or education or jobs, and I want to narrow down the focus of what people do want and bring them together.

“The blurb of the show says that, if nothing else, we can be proud of some form of tolerance and freedom of speech throughout our history.

“It’ll be interesting to see where those concepts are going in the next few years.”

Former Labour Prime Minister Harold Wilson is credited with first saying that a week was a long time in politics and in the current, often toxic, terrain of modern British politics and society, events seem to alter dramatically on an almost hourly basis.

This might be ideal for political correspondents but can be a challenge for topical comedians who are touring a show across the country over the course of many months.

Andy is confident about taking on the challenge of updating his material to take in what is happening in the news: “When your show is topical then inevitably it will be very different when the tour finishes from where it started.

“This is mainly because of current events, but also it’s good to keep it fresh anyway, not just for the audience but for myself.

“If you’re performing over 100 shows and just doing the same set every single night then it becomes a job rather than a pleasure.”

n Andy Parsons is at Hexham Queen’s Hall Arts Centre, Hexham, on December 3 and at Kendal Brewery Arts Centre on December 13.