Comedy writer and performer Ben Elton talks about his stage fright, writing new material, and left wing political beliefs.

Ben Elton is in Ireland ahead of performances in Belfast and Dublin in December.

It's always a terrifying thing to do a live gig.

While he is a comedian, he does not tell straightforward jokes. He believes good comedy is about real things, things that happen and that are experienced. Telling these stories builds a connection with the audience.

I do it because I love comedy.

Ben Elton has had great success with the series 'Black Adder' co-written with Richard Curtis. 'Black Adder' marked a breakthrough for his writing bringing it to a much bigger audience. While he can deliver a stand-up set, he has no desire to act and gets great joy in watching great actors deliver his writing. In terms of politics, he says that it just comes out in shows if he is feeling passionate about a particular issue.

This episode of 'The Late Late Show' was broadcast on 20 November 1987. The presenter is Gay Byrne.

'The Late Late Show' was intended to be a summer filler, but proved so successful with the public that it became part of the regular schedule. The idea for the programme came from the show's producer, Tom McGrath, who wanted to present an Irish version of the American talk show 'The Tonight Show'.

Gay Byrne was to be the show's presenter and would remain so for the next thirty-seven years. Tom McGrath's original idea was that the show would be informal and have the feel of people dropping in for a chat.

'The Late Late Show' became an important forum for the airing and debating of many issues in a changing Irish society.

The first episode of 'The Late Late Show' was broadcast at 11.20 pm, 6 July 1962. At the time, it was unusual to have a live talk and entertainment show on so late in the day's viewing. On that first show, the guests were Count Cyril McCormack, Ken Gray, George Desmond Hodnett and Harry Thuillier. McGrath would go on to pioneer many other successful variety shows on Irish television.

Pat Kenny replaced Gay Byrne as presenter in 1999 and remained in that position for ten years. The programme is still running today and is presented by Ryan Tubridy.