Prolific writer, broadcaster, comedian and former Conservative MP brings his news show to Norden Farm this weekend (June 18 and 19).

Something you may not know about Gyles Brandreth, however, is his fascination with words: “I was born in a British Forces Hospital in Germany. The first school I went to was the French Lycee in London. I speak a bit of German and a bit more French, but the English language is the love of my life. I like music; I quite like the ballet; I enjoy painting – but words, to me, are everything.

“I love playing with words. I love thinking about words. Why do people recite at a play and play at a recital? A slim chance and a fat chance are the same thing really, but a wise man and a wise guy are opposites. When the stars are out, they are visible. When the lights are out, they are invisible. I love all that.”

This may sound a little silly, as I expect the show will be, but his interest in words is no laughing matter.

“Language is what defines us as human beings. The way you use words will have an impact on the friends you make, the job you get. They’re the building blocks of every relationship. Language is power.

“Many people reckon that Barack Obama became the 44th President of the United States because of his way with words. I only remember the 43rd President of the United States because of his way with words. George W Bush was the guy who said: 'The trouble with the French is they don’t have a word for entrepreneur'.

“In fact, we’re luckier than the French because our language is so much richer than theirs. English is the richest of the world’s two thousand languages. The Oxford English Dictionary lists some 500,000 English words and there are at least half a million English-language technical terms you can add on top of that.”

“The Germans, by contrast, have a vocabulary of 185,000 words. The French have fewer than 100,000 words in their vocabulary – and that includes le weekend, le snacque-barre and le feel-good factor.”

The English language is certainly changing, evident from modern acronyms and slang being added to our dictionaries. Gyles, however, isn’t fazed by this.

“The English language is rich because it isn’t pure. New words are arriving all the time and lots of them have come along with new technology. I like acronyms like YOLO. I like fun abbreviations. RIDIC is a bit ridiculous, but why not? I love new words.

“I met Miley in a lift at the BBC. She is famous for her ‘twerking’. She seemed to think she had invented the word. I told her twerking was what’s known as a ‘portmanteau’ word, combining two words in one, and has been around since the early 1800s. It’s a mix of twist and jerk. She kindly said she’d come to see my show, so if you come look out for Miley. You may be there on the same night.”

In the arch phraseologist’s company it’s best to mind your ps and qs.

“I don’t like anyone using clichés because clichés are lazy,” says Giles. “During the last election I thought I’d go mad if I heard another politician talking about ‘hard working families’.

"I like language that is fresh and surprising. The word iconic is overused. The word passionate is overused. I passed a white van today. On the side it said: ‘Passionate about plumbing.’ Please!”

So how does Giles go about putting a show together?

“I was an MP – until the people spoke. When I lost my seat, I wondered what to do next. Someone suggested I take a show to the Edinburgh Fringe. I did. And I was very lucky. The show won awards and five-star reviews. Since then I have taken three more shows to Edinburgh and I’ve been just as lucky with them. I try to create a show about a subject I love and that I think will interest and amuse people. My Word Power! show is my favourite so far."

And what can audiences expect?

“A two-hour show that takes you on a roller-coaster ride around the amazing world of words. It’s a show that should make you laugh and might even make you cry. It’s based around my lifelong love of words and includes stories from my life in the theatre and politics. It’s a show for people who love live theatre and who enjoy listening to comedy or watching QI.”

Norden Farm Centre for the Arts, Altwood Road, Maidenhead, SL6 4PF, Saturday, June 18, 8pm and Sunday, June 19, 7.30pm. Details: 01628 788997