I should have known what to expect from a Ricky Gervais performance before I’d even sat down in the arena.

I largely did, but in the back of my mind I couldn’t help but have this niggling feeling of ‘what if this is the one he does differently’, or ‘what if this is the one where his opinion changes?’

Those niggling feelings were proven wrong within the first two minutes of his performance of Armageddon, the successor to his widely criticised Netflix special SuperNature, as the proudly divisive comic offered up a quintessential display of his signature style, provoking both laugher and discomfort among the audience at Liverpool’s M&S Bank Arena.

Even as someone who has not indulged in many of Gervais’ stand-up performances, I found myself reasonably entertained for large portions of the show.

However, it felt obvious at some points he was effectively preaching to the converted, with booming laughter filling the room following jokes about African babies being born with Aids and “disabled creatures.”

Those were the points where I had to accept where I personally wasn’t going to find every joke as funny as the last.

Throughout the set, Gervais delved into his usual subjects, addressing woke culture, freedom of speech, and the like.

His unapologetic wit certainly gleaned genuine amusement from the audience, though I was left with a level of unease at points where I could only crack a smile instead of joining in with the laughter.

This aspect is certainly what limited my overall enjoyment, as I found it challenging to fully embrace the performance without my reservations.

The unfiltered approach is part of what makes Gervais so popular among his fans and so loathed by many others, but I do think a middle ground can be found among his comedy. It’s certainly what I felt watching it.

He’s clearly a clever comic – that shone through. His ability to dissect societal issues and put them in a humorous context is second to none, even if it occasionally toes the line of what one might consider acceptable.

Armageddon entertained and amused but left me feeling somewhat conflicted.

Comedy relies on subjective interpretation, and whether it was a hit or a miss depends where you stand on the spectrum of appreciation for Gervais’ brand of humour.

For those who align with his views and appreciate the no-holds-barred approach, you’re probably going to have a great night.

Those at the opposite end of the spectrum surely know by now it’s not for them and to stay away.

For those somewhere in the middle though, like me, you might be left feeling more conflicted than you were at the start.