Frank Sidebottom tells Andrew Cowen how the world's his oyster now he's got a passport.
Frank Sidebottom is excited. He's got a fantastic new magic trick for his act.
"It's called 'Cup, Cup, Pot Noodle', he says. "You know that trick where you have three cups and a ball? You shuffle them around and ask which cup the ball's under? It's like that. But I lost one of the cups so I use a Pot Noodle instead."
Welcome to Frank's world. It's a parallel universe populated by men with papier mache heads, puppets that are invisible to the human eye, robots, tea trollies and attempted blackmail.
Getting to actually speak to the bard of Timperley is a frustrating affair. An earlier assignation was fruitless, with Frank failing to show. When we finally do get to meet, he apologises and explains that his mum wouldn't let him out, disapproving as she is of his showbiz career.
When we do hook up he's late, blaming his tardiness on having to see the end of an episode of Batman.
"It was a fantastic episode of Batman, called 'Return to the Batcave'," he offers as justification.
Life is just one big whirl for Frank Sidebottom. His papier mache head was spotted in the Red Nose Day show behind the Proclaimers. He's got a regular TV show on Sky Channel 203 and there's the small matter of a visit to the States.
"Have you heard of America?" he asks me. "I'm going there soon. I've got my own passport now."
"I'm only going for the day because my mum wants me back to take her to the late night shopping. "I leave at 9.25 and get back at 12 so I'll only be gone for three hours. It's like Doctor Who.
"I'll be playing a concert at Central Park and I'm filming a show for puppet cable TV."
Despite the global domination, Frank's found time to book a show at Wolverhampton. He'll be in the Civic Bar on June 1.
"It's gonna be a fantastic concert," he says in his broad Timperley accent. "I'm bringing a slide projector. It's one of these new ones you can write on. I don't even think Paul McCartney's got one of those.
"I'm bringing Little Frank and Amoeba Frank. You can see him if you bring a microscope."
Little Frank is Sidebottom's troublesome sidekick. He constantly tries to upstage his master but big Frank's not fazed.
"He's only cardboard," he says dismissively. A third puppet, Little Denise, will probably have to stay in the dressing room as somebody's stolen her head.
"I get messages from her kidnappers demanding money and they send me photographs of her. I got one of her recently, she was watching Abigail's Party," Frank says.
Frank's also making a film. Well two films actually.
"It's in two parts," he reveals. "A trilogy in two parts. The first part has somebody else playing me and in the second I'm playing somebody else, like Dustin Hoffman in Rain Man.
"It's taking two years, which is a long time. Much longer than I expected actually. Do you know why it takes so long? It's because they use much bigger film and when it's done, they don't just drop it off at the chemists.
"It's being made by the same people who made Harry Potter."
This, of course, prompts the obvious question, who will be playing Frank.
"Not Brad Pitt," he says. "He doesn't look anything like me. Some people have suggested Paul McCartney as there is a resemblance but he's not very good at acting. Have you seen Hard Day's Night? It's bobbins.
Other names in the frame include football manager David Pleat.
One of Frank's long-term projects is making a robot and I ask him how it's progressing.
"It's going well. I started it in the 1980s when technology was very different. I just got a tea trolley from a jumble sale to stand it on. It's a fantastic tea trolley. It's gold and metallic blue.
"Technology's amazing. You can get a full pack of felt tip pens from the Pound Shop, for instance. I've even got a DVD player.
"I just had my copy of Wrath of Khan transferred from Betamax to DVD. That's the trouble with progress, you have to keep changing things all the time.
"eBay's great too. It's like a sixth TV channel for me. I put one of my mum's hats on there. It had one of the flowers missing but I still got 11p for it."
Despite Frank's mum's better efforts, his life is one big showbiz party. He reckons he's pals with the Beatles and that they namechecked him on Let It Be.
"I've got a MySpace page too and Freddie Mercury is one of my top friends. I don't know how that can be because he's dead.
"Patrick Moore too. I was only talking to him the other day. I said 'Patrick, about these black holes... Why don't the Intergalactic Council just fill them in?"
He's talking faster than I can listen now but I did gather that there's a new album on the way.
"It's called Frank Sidebottom sings the Instrumental Greats. It's just lazy writing songs without words so I've finished them off.
"There's also a tribute to the fantastic Geoff Lynne out of ELO and a Frank Ferdinand medley.
"Another song's called Sea Monkeys On Mars. Have you seen Sea Monkeys? They're not monkeys at all, they're shrimps.
"I reckon that breaks the Trades Description Act. Mind you, you do get fond of them after a bit."