"Take stock of your resources, your dreams and your bank account, and ask, `OK, what am I going to do?' You'll be dealing with a conditioned audience and a conditioned media who need to describe you in 10 words or less. It's all about what's happening, what's hip, what's not, what's in, what's out, box office and ratings. But you've got to try and forget target audiences and concentrate on rediscovering and reinventing yourself and just entertaining people. I'm of the old school and am a lot more interested in people than in demographics.

Don't hide behind nostalgia. You've got to take risks. The old days might have been wonderful but don't trade on them and try to recreate that time. If you do, all your individuality will go out the window and all you will have done is clone yourself. Having said that, dignify your audience to the degree that you don't completely alienate them. Do the things that they responded to back in whenever, but also draw from your experiences and tell the story of your years away.

One benefit of coming back is that you'll be more able to say what you don't want to do, so use the opportunity to announce, `This is the way I would like to present myself.' The industry uses the term `comeback' for something that is very difficult to describe - which is, you never really leave. Your whole life is a comeback, every project a new beginning, and if you do what you love you'll always be coming back." Interview by Fiona McClymont

David Soul starts his first UK tour since the Eighties on 23 June. For tour information call 09068 455 488