FROM BREXIT and the Women’s Rural to a Fifer’s version of Star Wars, Perthshire farmer and standup comedian Jim Smith reveals the bizarre realities of country life in Scotland – and he'll be bringing his routine to the Wigtown Book Festival later this month.

The 39-year-old spends his weekdays farming 300 acres of mixed arable and livestock near Blairgowrie, but on Friday and Saturday nights he’s more likely to be found on stage at clubs in Edinburgh or Glasgow. His act explores the realities of how country people see the world – and puts right those misguided people who believe that it’s landowners and farmers who run the countryside, when it’s actually the Women’s Rural who hold the whiphand.

“It may be farmers who grow the world’s food,” he said, “but none of them can cook any of it. And that’s where the Women’s Rural come in – they have control of what we eat.”

Other favourite themes include the difference between what we see on Countryfile and what happens in real life and the challenges of finding a girlfriend when you live on a farm (and the perils of internet dating).

Jim’s own comedy career began as an active member of the Young Farmers when he wrote the scripts for the annual pantos which were staged at the Birnam Arts Centre near Dunkeld: “I liked writing the sketches and I loved being on stage, it gave me a bit of a buzz,” he said.

Later, after encouragement from friends, he took plucked up the courage to apply for beginner’s sessions at The Stand Comedy Club in Glasgow. He gradually got established on the circuit, often opening for other acts, and then developed his own hour-long shows. Two years ago he had a sell-out run at the Edinburgh Festival Fringe and reached the finals of the hugely influential So You Think You’re Funny competition.

“Edinburgh’s full of all sorts of unusual folk during the Fringe, but I think people were pretty surprised when they saw all these Scottish farmers in check shirts piling in and out of my venue for the show,” said Jim.

He is now an eagerly anticipated performer at the Wigtown Book Festival, where he promises a show full of rural humour, including lots of observational stories about country people in different parts of Scotland.

Despite his success, Jim doesn’t anticipate changing career and giving up the farm his family has run for three generations: “Maybe if I didn’t love the job so much, but if I’m away from the farm for more than two or three days I get withdrawal symptoms,” he said.

Catch Jim, who is part of the Wigtown Book Festival's much wider programme of entertainment, on Tuesday September 26, at 7.30pm in the County Buildings, Main Hall.