JOE Pasquale has been in showbusiness for more than 25 years, but he remains a box office draw. For his latest project, he dons the deerstalker cap and pipe of Sherlock Holmes for a riotous take on the iconic sleuth's adventures.
JACK GRIFFITH spoke to the veteran funnyman about his time in the limelight, and spells on reality TV's most popular shows.
Joe Pasquale likes a challenge.
Not content with conquering his fear of flying by throwing himself out of a plane for the 2004 series of hit reality show, I'm a Celebrity Get Me Out Of Here, he went on to learn how to fly himself and is now a qualified pilot. He was also crowned King Of The Jungle, winning the public vote, which is testament to the cheeky-chappy charm that has been the foundation of his successful career.
He also appeared in the BBCs Dancing on Ice. Such reality shows are widely thought to be graveyards for ailing celebrities before inevitable obscurity, but Joe's status as a national treasure remains intact. So how has he done it?
"I have been offered every reality TV show under the sun, and I turn most of them down because I don't see the point. I will only do it if there is some personal benefit there, and not necessarily a financial one.
"It has been more down to luck than judgement. [I'm a Celebrity...] was one of those offers that came in, and I just wanted to do it. I was meant to be doing a play and that fell through, and it was either sit on my backside or go for it.
"As long as I don't have to go and get a proper job and it is something I really want to do, I don't give a monkeys what it is."
When it comes to entertaining the masses, the likeable comedian has done it all. Having honed his act as an entertainer at holiday camps, his breakthrough came in 1987 after coming second in the original TV talent show, New Faces.
In the subsequent years, he was booked for the Royal Variety Performance and worked his way up to widespread acclaim and popularity, culminating in the 1996 hit live stand-up show, Live and Squeaky - a reference to his god-given voice, high-pitched and wheezy as if on helium, that has become his trademark.
"It is not something I have cultivated at all. It is just a part of me, and it hasn't held me back at all. People know me for my voice, but I don't give it much thought."
He has been busy ever since, as a stand-up, presenter, stage actor, panto star, voiceover artist, and even game show host, filling Bruce Forsyth's shoes to front The Price is Right in 2006.
Joe's 25-year-old son, Joe Tracini - the second youngest of five - has followed his father into showbusiness and is plying his trade as an actor, playing Dennis Savage in Channel 4 student soap, Hollyoaks, since 2011.
Fast forward to 2013, and fresh from a West End run playing King Arthur in Monty Python's Spamalot, he plays Sherlock Holmes in Ha Ha Holmes! and the Hound of the Baskervilles, which comes to the Beck Theatre on September 12 as part of a jam-packed national tour finishing in November.
Pasquale stars alongside Ben Langley and Andrew Fettes, and is on his most dangerous case yet - hunting down the Hound of the Baskervilles.
Sir Arthur Conan Doyle's Baker Street-based investigator has been the subject of numerous modern reimaginings, with Benedict Cumberbatch and Johnny Lee Miller playing him in recent TV adaptations, and Hollywood heavyweight Robert Downey Jnr stepping into his shoes in Guy Ritchie's 2009 film Sherlock Holmes, with Jude Law as sidekick, Dr John Watson. This was followed by box office smash sequel, Sherlock Holmes: A Game of Shadows, in 2011.
So was the lure of portraying one of the most iconic characters in literary history the main draw for Joe? Not really.
"I agreed to do this show because of the script. Whenever I get a new script, the only question I ask is 'is it funny?', 'will it make people laugh? I am not a big fan of Sherlock Holmes or anything like that.
"There is plenty of audience participation and ad-libbing. It is a bit of send-up of the classic detective stories, and you will come out laughing."
Ha Ha Holmes! and the Hound of the Baskervilles is at the Beck Theatre, in Grange Road, Hayes, on Thursday September 12, 7.30pm.
Tickets cost s21. For an extra s12, you can tuck into a two-course pre-show meal before the curtains go up, at 5.45pm.
To book, call the box office on 020 8561 8371