SEEING as it’s April Fools Day tomorrow, what could be more fitting than an interview with the hilarious and likeable four-man sketch troupe Idiots of Ants, rated as having one of the funniest shows on last year’s Edinburgh Fringe and soon to embark on a national tour that will take them up and down the length of the UK.

The group’s name is a pun you’ll either get immediately, understand when the subject is raised in their latest show, or pass you by altogether. I’d like to claim that I’m in the former group, but it wouldn’t be true. “Also the website was available,” says James Wrighton. They’re not particularly well-known outside London (where they live) and Edinburgh (surely the spiritual home of all aspiring comedians), although you might well have seen their “Facebook in Real life” sketch on YouTube — it went viral and to date has more than one and a half million hits.

“Every does seem to have seen that. We seem to get a couple of sketches that people latch on to... although we’ve not had another one quite like that,” says James in a mock-sad voice.

The four of them — James plus Benjamin Wilson, Elliott Tiney and Andrew Spiers — met at university in Birmingham and drama school in London seven years ago. Their easy-going friendship is one of the things that lends to their chemistry on stage, it is clear that they are entirely comfortable with each other.

“We basically mess about all day, and makes sketches out of what makes us laugh,” says James. “Hopefully it’ll make other people laugh too.”

Their clever, meta-theatrical shows have already got the critics on side, but naturally they have also had to endure the moment all stand-ups dread, when an otherwise responsive audience stops laughing and greets a joke with nothing more than blank stares.

“More than a couple of times!” says James. “We’re lucky, we run a night in London called Crash Test Comedy that’s designed to give comedians a chance to try out new material, and the audience are there on the understanding that it’s all brand new stuff. Numerous times we’ve turned to the audience and said ‘Well, you’re the only people who will ever see that sketch.”

With all thing mischievous in mind, given the date it only seems right to ask James what is the best (or worst, depending on your point of view) prank they’ve ever pulled off.

“We’re always winding each other up, you can’t leave anything alone with us,” he says. “A few years ago Andy was going on a date with a girl. Ben had just bought these T-shirt transfer things and the three of us and ben’s girlfriend put Andy’s face on these T-shirts. We went down to the bar and stood just in his eyeline, waited till he caught sight of us and took our jumpers of to reveal his face.

“He panicked and had to run off to the toilets! He did come back and introduce us to the girl but I think she was a bit weirded out by us.”

But did poor Andy manage to get a second date?

“I think he did!” laughs James. “So maybe it worked in his favour!”

• Idiots of Ants play the Lowry, Salford Quays, on Sunday May 2. For more information visit