Where and when did you first dive
I did my open water dives at Stoney Cove in November 1992. I remember the cold, dark water very, very clearly. In fact, when I had to do the emergency BC oral inflation, my lips were so numb and blue that I could barely feel the inflator tube.

Why did you take up diving
My girlfriend at the time was a keen diver,­ and we thought it would be a good way to have a holiday together. We went to Sharm el Sheikh that Christmas, and I loved it – what a change from Stoney Cove!

Where have you dived since
I’ve done a few dives in lots of different places: Cuba, Bahamas, Caymans, Cairns and Adelaide in Australia, New Zealand, Turkey, Thailand, Vietnam, Bali and Indonesia.

Do you have a best underwater experience
I think a week I spent in Hurghada in 1999 when I did my first night dives. I’ve said on QI a few times that night-time is when the ugly fish come out to play. I went with a diving club that my girlfriend belonged to.

The same girlfriend that got you into diving
No, no. A different girlfriend: in fact the previous girlfriend and I split up just after our trip to Sharm. But the club when I went to Hurghada was a good way to dive, lots of fun.
I remember the trip clearly, ‘cos after diving we’d watch Champion’s League football games on Egyptian TV.
For some reason every time the commentator mentioned an English player he would repeat the name at least five times in a row. “Gary Neville, Gary Neville, Gary Neville, GARY NEVILLE!, Gary Neville.”

Do you remember much about the dives
Yes, I wrote up my logbook every day. That was the first time I saw an octopus. Truly amazing. Total camouflage. I can see it now scurrying along the wall with all its arms outstretched.
But what I also remember was coming back at the end of the day after diving as the sun was setting, and there being dolphins swimming around the boat. I’ve never forgotten it.

Do you have a favourite marine creature
Clownfish – like a lot of people, I s’pose. Especially when they’ve got babies and they defend their nests and come swimming at you with a lot of attitude. And I like Napoleon wrasse, any nice big wrasse.
There was a seawater pool near Sydney where there was a really big one. I love their colours.

Are you scared of anything under water
Not really, no. I saw a big moray eel swimming free in open water once and it was underneath me. That was a bit freaky. You don’t want to get bitten by one of those, do you!

Have you had any diving scares
That first trip to Sharm: my girlfriend went off and left me alone and I stopped on this reef wall to watch something. Then my regulator hose snagged on some coral and pulled the second stage from my mouth. When I reached out to get it, I touched some fire coral.
I managed to catch up with the divemaster and he looked at my air gauge and made me use his octopus for the rest of the dive. My girlfriend was very unimpressed.

What makes diving special for you
The silence. No-one talking. There’s nothing like it. And turtles. They’re pretty special things. Amazing.

Do you have a dream diving destination
A mate went to the Philippines recently and told me it was amazing. I went to Banda Neira with Bill Bailey [the comedian] and there was a guy with some dodgy-looking equipment who offered to take us diving. Bill was keen, but I said I didn’t like the look of the kit, so we cried off.
I’d like to go back there – it was amazing to be somewhere off the beaten track. I remember the T-shirts on sale;­ basically you had a choice of Teletubbies, David Beckham, Kurt Cobain or Osama Bin Laden.

Which did you go for
Guess.

Have you and Bill dived elsewhere
We did one dive in Indonesia together, but it didn’t go well. Bill’s mask was so tight it made his eyes bleed. I cracked up, but he didn’t find it so funny.

Do you own any of your own dive equipment
Just a mask. A dodgy mask that leaks. I usually end up borrowing one. But I’ve started wearing glasses, so I might need a prescription mask next time. I’m not sure how that will work out. I’d like to be able to see stuff under water.

Have you done any wreck-diving
Only once, in Adelaide. A guy took me out on the boat and said I could choose to see a giant clam or a shipwreck. I chose the wreck and it was quite a sight; I loved peering inside and seeing clouds of fish lurking in the nooks and crannies.
My buddy kept going up and down a lot, and it really worked on my sinuses. So much snot came out in my mask and afterwards, they were clear for at least two years.

Do you worry about the marine environment
I used to eat a lot of tuna. Then I watched The End of the Line and I haven’t been able to eat it since.

Any diving planned
Not in the immediate future. My wife dives too but with two small kids it’s tricky. And then there’s QI and my new tour coming up, and maybe a Jonathan Creek special next year.
And the tour starting in the autumn needs a fair bit of preparation.

Alan Davies is on tour nationwide with his first stand-up show since 1999 from 6 September.
Dates and venues for the show, Life is a Pain, are available from www.ents24.com