Lee Mack takes no prisoners when it comes to bad jokes. His career’s been built on being funny and perhaps because of that, the Not Going Out star often finds himself being stopped by people who want to share their gags with him.

“If anyone ever starts a sentence, ‘I’ve got a joke for you’, I can guarantee that 99.9% of the time it won’t be pleasant,” he says. “It’s always unpleasant jokes for some reason.”

Mack is keeping the humour clean as the host on new panel show Duck Quacks Don’t Echo.

In each of the eight episodes, a range of celebrity guests, including Miranda Hart, Sue Perkins and Ricky Tomlinson, will introduce a bizarre fact and, with the help of a team of scientists, attempt to prove it.

“Both my sons love science and the show is on Sky so it’s nice and family-friendly,” says Mack who also has a daughter, the youngest of his three children.

“My sons are finally able to see something that I do on telly.”

But even if his eldest two can watch Dad on TV, they’re not that fussed by his starry career, the funny man points out.

“[I make my sons laugh] more on a day-to-day basis, rather than with my TV shows,” says Mack, who met his wife Tara when they were both students at Brunel University. “They can take or leave that!”

Mack had a good relationship with his own parents when he was growing up in Blackburn.

They ran the Centurion pub on the Roman Road estate and the family lived above. Lee, who attended the former Everton High School, still supports Blackburn Rovers.

“My parents were funny. Joking around was a big part of their lives, it was vitally important,” he says of his late mother and father.

“Messing around and trying to embarrass each other was part of our DNA.”

Mack, who worked as a stable hand for champion horse Red Rum and as a Pontins Bluecoat before turning to professional comedy, has ensured that laughter’s as central to his young family’s lives as it was to his.

“My parents aren’t around, but we’re like that in our house now,” he says. “We’ve got [that humour] from them, that messing around. When my sons come into the room I think, ‘Right, what can I do that will get a laugh?”’ With another UK-wide tour starting in the autumn and steady stream of TV work, it certainly looks like those early days are a thing of the past.

n Duck Quacks Don’t Echo: Sky1, Fridays, 10pm.