IF a writer is the sum of their experiences, Simon Carlyle must have led a very busy life.

So far, Ayr-born Carlyle, has created sitcom television set in the worlds of the tanning salon, a Burns recital competition, a local ice rink, a west coast caravan park and a gay sauna.

Now, Simon and writing partner Gregor Sharp have created Two Doors Down, which takes a Brillo pad to the pretentiousness of aspirational life in a Glasgow suburb.

Already set to be commissioned for a second series before the first has even aired, it’s full of Carlyle’s trademark characters; bitchy, acerbic, outrageously forthright – and funny.

But what experiences has the soft-spoken, dryly funny writer enjoyed/endured in his forty years on the planet which manifested themselves in TV form?

“Bankruptcy, many desperate attempts to make it as a comedy writer, going bankrupt again,” he says, with a wry grin, sipping coffee in Glasgow’s Rogano restaurant.

And it’s all true. But there’s more. Much more. Here’s an early example.

“At the age of 12 I wanted to be in London doing drag cabaret,” says Carlyle, with a straight face.

“But you can’t really say that when you’re standing in Ayr High Street wearing a Lyle & Scott jumper, waiting for your mum to come out of the butchers.

“Ayr was just an awful place to be gay. In the circles I was in I’m not sure if I’d have been beaten up, but I certainly wasn’t for coming out. I had to have fake girlfriends, and it was bloody awful.”

Was he ever an Elton in that he became engaged?

“I was never that desperate,” he squeals. Did he break girls’ hearts? “No.”

He added grinning: “Look, I would boil the kettle for girls, but I’d never make the tea. What helped me was knowing a couple of gay guys from figure skating. I learned enough to know I should never take a wife and join a golf club.”

Simon Carlyle grew up an outsider; a perfect position for looking in on the world. But with this place on the periphery came angst.

He was eighteen when he came out to his parents, who were understanding, yet he couldn’t develop relationships.

“There was also the emergence of AIDS. Not only did I panic about telling people I was gay, I reckoned I was going to die because of my sexual preference. I felt trapped. Dark.”

Neurosis set in. He developed OCD. “Repetitive thoughts; fear of being found out . . . fear of being found out. I wasn’t well adjusted coming out of my teens, to put it mildly.”

Carlyle sought professional help, which helped, but what to do with his life? He reckoned on a career as an ice skater however his parents pushed for university.

The French and psychology degree excited him even less than the girls he’d dated and he left.

He worked at Butlins for a while. Tell me a story about camp life, Simon? “I can’t,” he says with a mischievous grin. “All I can say is that one adventure involved Gary from the sunbeds. But at least I got free tokens.”

The good-looking young man was offered the chance to model for teen magazines such as Jackie. He worked as an extra in Taggart.

More life experience. More colour to offer a writer. But at this point he hadn’t written more than a Job Centre application.

“Then, for some reason, I don’t know what, I began going along, alone, to TV studio recordings of a comedy TV show called Pulp Video. (1995). When I watched this show I knew I wanted to work in television. But I had no idea as what.

“So I went on a media course, and was offered a job (with STV) on the Wheel of Fortune as Nicky Campbell’s assistant. Producer Anne Mason decided I scrubbed up all right and I modelled the dishwashers.”

The dishwasher model moved to childrens’ TV with BBC Scotland as a researcher and presenter but he says he was “awful, this very dark presence.”

However, one day, while working on Fully Booked with Gail Porter and Tim Vincent, a light bulb shone; a sketch demanded someone play a cleaner. Simon volunteered, (The chance to drag up at last?) and he began to write monologues for his character.

A video made its way to a BBC producer and Simon and a pal he’d first met at STV, Gregor Sharp, were commissioned to write a sitcom. “Gregor taught me writing structure. And I taught him all the filthy jokes I’d learned in the gay bars of Glasgow.”

Terri McIntyre (played in drag by Carlyle) became a BBC3 cult and Carlyle and Sharp were hailed the next big thing.

The success propelled him to London. More experience. But not all good. Aged 24, hubris banged hard on the door of his rented Soho flat and common sense flew out the window. His partying and drinking would have made Caligula look like a choir boy.

“Not drugs. I knew that would be a step too far for me. I’d lose my mind. But I felt the success would last forever.”

Burnt out and bankrupt, Carlyle was drinking so much he couldn’t get out of the bed to write. Then a saviour appeared in the form of actress Maria McErlane, who now appears on Graham Norton’s radio show.

“She told me I had to sort myself out or I wasn’t going to work anymore. And I did. A producer told me to write what I knew about, and I thought ‘I only know about ice skating.’”

The result was sitcom Thin Ice, in 2006, which showed promise but deemed too flimsy to make a second series. More experience. But then came a Carlyle/Sharp corker, No Holds Bard, set in the world of Burns recital competition.

The critics loved it and the success propelled the writing partners onto a BBC caravan part sitcom, Happy Hollidays, which didn’t move anywhere.

More experience. The writing chums worked on separate projects; Simon became a script editor with Tiger Aspect Production, working on Benidorm, Jack Whitehall’s very clever Bad Education and he developed transgender comedy Boy Meets Girl, for which he won a Stonewall Award.

However, the pair got back on the horse together to create Two Doors Down, which should be a winner.

Amazingly, at the age of forty, there’s even a hint he’s enjoying his success. “When you grow up in the West of Scotland it’s not in your bones to be self-congratulatory,” he says, smiling.

“But last last week I got a lovely praising email from (Dr Who writer) Russell T. Davies. And this is the first time I’ve allowed myself the thought ‘Maybe I can do this after all.’

He added: “But I still think about running off and becoming a drag queen.”

Two Doors Down, BBC2, April 1 at 10pm.