THE Kevin Bridges who sips black coffee while sitting on a nice leather sofa in a swish Glasgow hotel (not far from his £2m home in Glasgow’s West End) doesn’t look too different from the young man who took to the comedy circuit as a 17-year-old – except quite a bit slimmer, with a better haircut. Oh, and more expensive trainers.

But what’s inside his expensively barbered head? When the riches of Croesus arrive at the doors of entertainers in Eddie Stobart-sized loads (Bridges grossed almost £8m for the last run of Glasgow gigs alone) common sense invariably leaps out the window. Before you know it, the Columbian dancing dust has taken hold and the next thing you know they’re filling in forms for the rehab clinic and scrubbing out toilets with Lindsay Lohan.

Yes, Bridges has already been through his late-twenties existentialist period of drinking too much and wondering if he’d had enough of comedy. And he has an ongoing issue with hecklers. (More of later). But he’s not only gotten his act together he’s filling even bigger halls for longer periods, the 19 nights at the SSE Hydro in October being a case in point. (And he could have done more; he pulled the plug.)

So what’s going right? What keeps him grounded, away from the opportunistic platinum blondes and the urge to flash the Platinum Amex? What keeps him away from the Chiltern Firehouse, in London's Marylebone, and having selfies taken with Nick Grimshaw and Caroline Flack? Our conversation reveals a great deal – indeed the answers could well be Kev’s Ten Commandments for those who may find themselves elevated beyond expectation.

The first is Thou Shalt Not Buy A House Up The Road from Elton John.

Bridges chooses to live in Glasgow (no Ferraris in the driveway) in a nice, yet mixed income area. And when he strolls its streets he doesn’t take on the aura of the carefully-cloaked, head-down, move-fast Frankie Boyle, whose movements suggest Unemployed Terrorist Bomber. No, Bridges walks the dog in his shorts (the dog isn’t wearing the shorts) to the shops, at a regular pace. As an ordinary person would.

“I’ve never been an extrovert,” he says on the subject of recognition. “I’ve never chased the limelight. I was someone who was chucked out of school for being funny so I figured I’d try and do something positive with that. But then one day you realise you’re on the telly and start to panic about walking down the street.”

But he deals with it. Shorts on. Dug on lead. The price for living in a city where he’s a comedy hero is worth paying. “Oh, aye, the positives outweigh the negatives, although at times I just want to go into the post office and not be recognised because at times the public feel an ownership.” He adds with a chuckle: “Six degrees of separation? In Glasgow it’s far less. I’ve got uncles and cousins I never knew I had. But most people are nice. And at the same time, I don’t want to move to London. My family and friends are here and it would be really sad to leave them behind.”

But how does he cope being more minted than a Polo mint factory?

Second Commandment: Thou Shalt Not Become Gary Barlow.

“I have a socialist outlook yet I believe people should earn and try to be prosperous. Aye, I’ll get criticism for being a millionaire but I’m happy to pay 46 per cent tax in Scotland.” A sip of coffee fuels a little anger. “I look at the likes of Gary Barlow on Children In Need asking the public to send in money and find out he has his money in offshore accounts. To be honest, I really don’t know how he can sleep at nights.”

And what about St Bono of Dublin, who owned a chunk of a shopping centre in Lithuania, according to the Paradise Papers? “Well, he and U2 never got to play the Hydro this year because I had it booked out,” he says with a dark grin, his digit finger rising, (figuratively). “Look, I think having money is fine, so long as you pay your tax and you’re good to people.”

Third Commandment: Honour Thy Ma and Da. Bridges bought his parents a home in Clydebank said to be worth almost £900,000. He is spectacularly generous to family and friends but does it become wearing when asked for a lend of £50, or £5000?

“A lot,” he says with a wry smile. “It’s a bit sad. You try and be good to people and they ask you for a certain amount and [when they get it] never mention it again. So what do you do? I’m doing 19 nights at the Hydro so how can I possibly go chasing them up? But then you learn. The money has been well spent in a sense because you know not to trust that person again. There’s never a next time.”

Bridges doesn’t pretend to fans he’s not loaded. “You can’t do that,” he maintains. In his new DVD he talks to the Hydro audience about doing 19 nights at £36 a pop x 12,000 people. “I have never m*********d over a sum before,” he says, which brings huge laughs.

That’s eight million quid’s worth of adulation. Yet, here’s the thing: Bridges explains for most of his time on stage he can barely enjoy it.

Fourth Commandment: Thou Shalt Always Retain a Sense of Squeaky Bum.

“It’s a good feeling being in front of so many people but you are still thinking ‘They could stop laughing here.’ You know you need to keep it going, and that feeling overrides the sense of joy you get from the laughs.”

Wow, but surely you have to allow some of this adulation to seep in? “Yes, a bit. Once the gig is up and running, you can relax a wee bit, yet you’re still working, trying to make the joke better, improvise . . .

“Here’s the thing; when you first start to sell out arenas you think someone is going to pull you aside and say, ‘Times, up!’ It hasn't happened, yet, you still have that wee bit of insecurity, that you could lose the audience. And it makes you work harder. But that’s a good thing.”

Perhaps not always. Recently, Bridges walked off stage because he was being heckled. Now, there are critics who will say, ‘Just keep going – that’s what you get the big bucks for, Kevin.’ But it’s not that simple. Bridges doesn’t tell gags. He crafts delicate, cleverly woven tales. When the heckling starts his internal knitting is ripped. And you wouldn’t go to a theatre and heckle Anthony Sher during a soliloquy.

Thou Shalt Avoid Twitter Storms Like the Plague.

Bridges doesn’t look at social media during his concert runs in case it interferes with his head space. “One negative comment could derail me. And if I’m happy with the show I don’t need to read all the positives. I’ve done comedy for 15 years and I don’t need a guy with a picture of an egg to tell me it’s shite. And the views on social media are extreme. There’s no middle ground discussion.”

Bridges is clearly an international-class worrier. The next Kevin Commandment reveals how this works in his favour. Work harder than a Snow White Dwarf to Get the Right Material.

“There are times when I worry that I’ll never think of anything funny ever again,” he admits. “I feel it a lot. It’s like writer’s block. You try so hard but nothing comes. And I don’t use other writers – that’s why I only tour every few years.”

When he gets ideas he throws them down on notepads, train tickets. Bits of scrap. “I will bounce ideas of people.” Who? “My girlfriend. It drives her a bit mad, because we can be walking through the park, and I’ll tell her it, but she’s getting it at the raw stage.” He grins: “When you give someone an idea and they say it’s s**** sometimes it gives you a twisted drive. I just think ‘I’m going to show you. I’m going to make this funny’.’’

He writes it up. He rewrites. The first outing for the joke is a small comedy club. “I’m then standing next to blokes who have been doing stand-up for maybe a year. They’re novices. You go on the stage like one of them. Sure, the crowd will maybe give you a minute's grace because they recognise you, but once that minute is up you get judged on the laughs you produce. And that’s when you know if the new stuff will work. It’s like doing your first gig again.”

He adds: “But you need to do this. I could die on my arse but at the same time I don’t want to go out on the big stage and do totally safe stuff. I can’t take the chance that I will go on to do material before 10,000 people and they come away thinking ‘That was OK.’”

The pressure is always on. To be better. To be funnier. But there’s an immense pressure just to go about life without looking for the funny.

Thou Shalt Let the Air into the Skull.

“After the 2015 tour I took off on a trip to Madrid to take a course in Spanish, six weeks, six hours a day. And it really helped me to get my mind somewhere else. I guess this sort of [displacement] activity is the human brain’s way of coping. But here’s the funny thing. I had homework to do, to conjugate these Spanish verbs, but as I tried to get locked into this I’d be walking to the college in the morning and coming up with funny stories.” He grins: “I’d then go in and fail my test, but at the same I’d think, ‘Well, comedy is my livelihood. Spanish is just a hobby.”

The course itself threw up comedy opportunity. “I had to stand up in the morning and introduce myself, to say where you’re from and what you do. ‘Hi, I’m Kevin, from Glasgow.’ I didn’t want to say I was a comedian, or a ‘humorista’, but just at that moment I looked outside and saw a van, and on it was painted Electricistas. So I thought I would just say that I was an electrician.

"But a wee while later a Scottish and an English guy joined the class. And they recognised me and asked me for a selfie.”

He laughs: “Meanwhile, the rest of the class were wondering why these two guys were asking an electrician for a selfie.

“I was telling my girlfriend about this and she laughed and said I should write that down. Then I thought how I could explain the selfies to the class?” He laughs in recall: “I reckoned I could have said I’m a celebrity electrician. I’m famous because I’ve been on The Great British Rewire.”

The constant divided self – the need to come up with comedy and the need to shut down the need to come up with comedy – is challenging. But Bridges is Connolly-like in blending cleverly topical dilemmas with his own background.

Thou Shalt Drink From The Well of Personal Experience.

He does a hilarious routine about (obsessively) chatting on his mobile phone will walking the dog – and the dog skids to a halt, refusing to accept it’s not getting the attention it deserved. “It’s a true story,” he says, grinning. “The dog actually did that. And I tested the theory. I put the phone away, then walked, then took it out again. Sure enough, she pulled the lead tight.”

He also does a great routine about Joseph announcing news of Mary’s pregnancy to his mates on the building site. Once a Catholic...?

“I don’t believe, but I’m hedging my bets,” he says. “I’m a kind of, ‘Well I’ll find out when we die’ type of guy. But some wummin called me a bigot after that gag.”

He had entered the world of the Easily Offended? “Oh aye!” he agrees. “There are lots of people looking to take offence. You can download five apps to give you a complaint platform these days, but if you don’t have much to say you have to come up with something.”

Bridges’ success owes much to his avoidance of easy political targets. “It would be all too easy to say, for example, that Trump is an arse and a moron. You have to do it with a bit of subtlety.” What Bridges does instead is take one of President Trump’s insane (aren’t they all?) ideas such as arming teachers in the wake of school shootings and personalises the argument. “I’ve had teachers who couldn’t use a VHS recorder, never mind a semi-automatic weapon,” says Bridges on stage, then riffing on the theme: “I think everybody’s had a mad techie teacher.”

Thou Shalt Appreciate the Value of Self-Deprecation.

Take the current vogue of those who complain about ‘shaming’. The schoolboy Kevin was a worried, anxious child who was called Fattyboomboom. “You just sucked it up. Yes, fat-shaming existed when you were at school. You got fat-shamed, skinny-shamed, speccy-shamed, buck-teeth, big-eared your-da’s-an-alkie-shamed. You even got Adidas-four-stripe-trainers shame. (Fakes.) And you would accept it or you got a, ‘Cannae take a shaming shame.’”

Yes, he has taken a political stance (which can be divisive in Scotland) but it’s measured and continually recalibrated.

Thou Shalt Rip the Backside Out of all Political Gods.

In 2012 he said if there was an independence vote he’d probably vote Yes. “But I don’t know how I’d feel about that now, given the mess we’re in given the Brexit situation. It’s made me think about how Scotland would be if we left the rest of the UK.”

His tone darkens. “I’m only 32 but I’ve never seen people so angry as they’ve been in the past few years.”

Thou Shall Not Take Up with a Golddigger Who Will Selfie You Right into the Tabloids.

He references his girlfriend, Kerry, a great deal, a manager in a classy Glasgow restaurant cafe of whom he said: “Works, like, 12-hour shifts. Unthinkable!” Clearly she’s a rock. But what about when you have a fall out, Kevin? Does personal life impact upon stage performance? “Everybody’s got to show up for work, even if you’re in a bad mood, whether it’s come from having a leak in your kitchen or whatever. But if there is something in my head what I do is have 15 minutes shutdown before a show, so I’ll skip – I go to a boxing gym – and listen to music. It’s an escape from the pressure. You can’t take a problem out there in front of 10,000 people.”

The job of being Kevin Bridges is not just about telling very funny stories. It’s about keeping himself in a safe zone whereby the stories will continue to emerge. This involves making sure friends are real, even if they are showbiz stars. Let them lay on your floor in a sleeping bag. Jack Whitehall, he reveals, once stayed over at his house in Clydebank. “I took him to a Celtic game and he missed his flight back to London.” He laughs. “We had a sleepover, on the floor of my bedroom. My mum made him a roll ’n’ tottie scone in the morning.”

Is that the final commandment for comedy longevity? “Aye, Spanish lessons and tottie scones,” he says, laughing.

Kevin Bridges, The Brand New Tour – Live is out now on DVD and Digital Download. He will be signing copies of the DVD at HMV, Argyle Street, Glasgow, December 14 at 6pm.