Goldie answers the phone sounding like a bizarre mix between Brian Blessed and Richard Burton.

“I’m not taking any calls at the moment now that I’m a thespian, please call back later, once I’ve had my curtain call.“

Given his reputation as something of a hard nut, it’s a surprising start to our interview, but then again, research has shown me that when it comes to Goldie, your best bet is to expect the unexpected.

A self-confessed jack-of-all trades, he’s got a lot to show for his 48 years. Having initially made his name as a graffiti artist, he progressed to music and DJing, where he became a pioneering force behind the drum and bass and jungle scene. Following that, there’s been a book: Nine Lives, television appearances: everything from Strictly to Big Brother, art shows, and movie roles – in Snatch and The World is Not Enough, no less.

Now Goldie, real name Clifford Price, has a new string to add to his ever-increasing bow – he’s set to make his stage debut in Kingston 14, a play written by award-winning Roy Williams, author of Sucker Punch.

“I play a Jamaican gangster of quite strong ilk,“ he says. “And I get to be street, which I love. The audience is probably going to need subtitles.“

Interviewing Goldie is a bit like spending time with a kid that’s spent an entire afternoon eating its own weight in blue smarties. He talks at about 400 miles per hour, covering every topic imaginable and peppering his dialogue with a host of different voices. It’s hard to imagine that this was a man who used to “toot for England“, he’s such a bundle of nervous energy.

But what I manage to deduce is this: while we’re speaking he’s “doing his homework“, that is, he’s at Theatre Stratford East rehearsing for the play.  He’s in awe of his co-stars: “I mean, Trevor Laird, wow. I just want to air kick him in the face. This guy was in Quadrophenia man, f*****g hell, Jesus Christ! I’m trying to play it cool, I’m struggling.“ And he’s nervous: “It’s like playing Glastonbury in front of 20,000 people for the first time. This is what heaven is, the nervousness is the limbo part.“

According to Goldie, the play, which looks at police corruption in Jamaica, although really dark in places, is hilariously funny. He also believes his background is not too dissimilar to that of the character, Joker, he is playing.

“There’s an aspect of heritage there, what with him being from Jamaica like me, and that he never fitted in, was always on the run,“ he says.

“He’s made me think a lot about why he’s this tough gangster, what’s happened to him. If you’ve had a gangster father and a crackhead mother, what are the chances your going to end up going to university, er hello?

“Y’know, people with tragic backgrounds have to use what they can to ease their situation. To keep calm, they tell another joke. I’m the poster boy for that, my mum put me into care when I was three and I went from foster home to foster home.“

Despite his troubled past, there’s no doubt that Goldie has used every opportunity that’s come his way to succeed in life.

“Y’know I pinch myself every morning, I’m loving it. It’s giving me the same buzz I got when I started DJing, proper DJing that is, not those idiots who stand around looking at their watches for an hour.

“I love the idea of doing theatre, not just bit parts in movies, where I get called on briefly, but performing night after night,“ he gushes.

“The only thing is, I dunno what it is, but I keep getting chosen to play these stereotypical gangsters. I’m a THESPIAN!“

Kingston 14 is at Theatre Stratford East, Gerry Raffles Square, E15 from March 28 until April 26. Details: 020 8534 0310,