FOR viewers of Britain's Got Talent, this year's comic star turn Malawian-born comedian Daliso Chaponda, hasn't quite come out of nowhere.

In fact, much like other comics such as Hal Cruttenden and Michael McIntyre, Daliso has been working his stand-up socks off for the last ten years at clubs and theatres across the country.

"Making a living as a comedian is tough," he tells me, "really tough. I love doing it but I knew there was another tier of stand-up there, away from the small clubs and bars and I suppose I wanted to see if I could make it."

Which is why he applied for Britain's Got Talent.

"Perhaps it was a risk," Daliso admits, "but I also knew that on the right day I can make people laugh. What I also liked about the competition is that they tell you where you're going wrong. When you go to a club and have a bad night the audience doesn't tell you why you were bad. On Britain's Got Talent they do. They give you feedback and that for me was also interesting."

Except they didn't.

Daliso was one of the biggest hits of this year’s BGT. He was fast-tracked to the semi-finals when Amanda Holden used her ‘golden buzzer’ to put him through and subsequently the clips of his appearances attracted more than 12 million views on YouTube.

Following his third place in the show, he's getting ready for his debut 31-date UK tour next year, entitled What The African Said, which would be more than enough for Daliso, except he's also been commissioned to write and feature in his first Radio 4 show, Citizen Of Nowhere, which will also air next year.

"I can always come back down to earth," he jokes, "but at least I have this tour. It's a dream come true for me to do this tour so if I do come back down, I'll come back down very happy.

"At first it was 20 dates and they just sold so quickly we now have 31-dates. It's incredible and I cannot wait for them to start."

Not bad for a young man who spent his childhood travelling around Africa with his father George, who was himself a refugee before becoming a diplomat and then Malawi’s Justice Minister. That meant Daliso spend his youth travelling from country to country, until winding up as a student in Canada.

And that's where it all started.

"I wanted to be a novelist," he reveals. "I wanted to be the next big African novelist but of course my family thought I was a mad man. In the end they pushed me to study computer programming in Canada but the laugh was on them because that's where the biggest comedy festival is."

Montreal’s Just for Laughs Festival was where Daliso saw his first stand-up and he was hooked straight away.

"I thought it was incredible," he continues. "I had only seen Eddie Murphy in Raw up until then but I thought it was just a Hollywood actor getting up and being funny. I didn't realise this was a thing anyone could do."

Starting off with a tiny open mic night in Canada, Daliso soon began gigging more and more. Eventually, realising going back to Malawi wasn't a viable option for a burgeoning stand-up comedian, he made his way to the UK.

"I started in London," he says, "but it became too expensive, so now I'm in Manchester, which is a brilliant city to live in. Also because I tour around so much it doesn't really matter where you live as a comedian."

Daliso plays Southend's Cliffs Pavilion on Saturday, February 10 and Saturday, June 2.