COMEDIAN and activist Mark Thomas is creating a manifesto — what he calls “a policy paddle to help steer our way out of the creek”.

And he’s enlisting the help of his audiences.

“When people arrive at one of my gigs they get given a bit of paper on which they have to write an idea about something that would benefit the world.

“I collect them in and read through them all before the show starts — which can be quite difficult because I get audiences of up to 500 people — and then we go through them in the show.”

So, one week into his 14-week tour, what has he got so far?

“There are some really good ideas already,” said Thomas.

“All sorts of things, from creating a First Amendment-style protection to freedom of speech, to assumed consent for organ donation, which is very sensible I think.

“We had one the other night which was a suggestion of introducing a law which allowed the reclaiming of derelict land as public land after five years.

"A recent one that I rather liked was that all MPs’ expenses should be detailed in the local paper every week and the readers could vote on whether they get passed or not.

“Oh, and another one was that we should get OCD sufferers to work for the NHS to get rid of MRSA, but I’m not sure about that one.”

Thomas isn’t your average comedian. The Daily Telegraph described him as: “A brilliant investigative journalist disguised as a comedian” and he has made numerous documentaries, published two books, changed the law on tax, secretly filmed torturers, exposed arms dealers and uncovered abuses of civil liberties and corporate skulduggery.

“Comedy is my first love, but in some of my work people have argued that I'm more an investigative journalist at times,” said Thomas.

“I suppose comedy is just my way to getting the message across.

“I don't know if it’s the best way, but it's my way, and comedy is what I love doing.

"I love performing, I love talking about myself and I love showing off.

“Comedy allows me to do all that — and I get paid for it!”

  • See Mark Thomas at Manchester Dancehouse from Tuesday, June 2 to Thursday, June 4. For tickets call 0161 237 9753.