For the last 12 years, Jason Bradbury has been the face of gadgets and technology, at least where television is concerned. He has been the main host of Channel 5's The Gadget Show throughout its entire 25 series run, and shows no sign of stopping.

He's a self-confessed games and gadget geek, who loves the gizmos as much as he loves talking about them. His unbounded enthusiasm is there to see each week on the show, and he has since taken his love of tech to new grounds, lecturing in the University of Lincoln just one of his extracurricular pursuits.

Fans of the programme and of entertainment technology in general can also get to see him discuss all things gadgetry at The Gadget Show Live 2016 in Birmingham's NEC convention centre. It runs from 31 March to 3 April, but before the huge, live event we got some private time with him ourselves to natter about the wonderful world of gadgets he so adores.

First though, we wanted to know why he thinks The Gadget Show Live has been so successful over the years.

Could he, former GamesMaster runner and the original comedy double act partner of David Walliams, have ever imagined it would endure?

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When Gadget Show Live started, did you ever imagine it would get so big and stand the test of time?

"No. Even the show itself, we thought we'd run out of stuff to talk about. It sounds hilarious when you say that now but we genuinely questioned whether there would be enough content to keep us going. Gadget Show Live is the same.

"It's a big endeavour. To get all those people under one roof every year for four or five days, I think it's amazing it keeps going. And I definitely couldn't have predicted it.

"It's a bit like being a pop star when you do Gadget Show Live. It's a bit West End-y. Gadgets meet the West End. The theatrical elements of it are so large scale. Fitting 3,000 people into the super-theatre. It's bonkers isn't it?"

It's changed quite a lot over the years, hasn't it? There now seems to be entertainment everywhere.

"Because stands exist it doesn't mean we should use them. For me it's about play.

"My life is about play and I'm unapologetic about that – my kids call me "man-child". My love of technology comes in part that I play with it and mess about. I put a VR helmet on and pretend that I'm special forces, and I try to inspire myself to get out and cycle, so I put my bike on a turbo trainer and use Rift to cycle in a virtual world. For me, that's what's at the heart of my love of technology and I think that should translate at Gadget Show Live a bit.

"Why have a stand full of scooters when you can actually get on them and ride them around a test track?"

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Do you think that it helps that consumers have changed their opinions about gadgets and tech?

"I came from a family of salesmen and there's this thing called the 'wonderful paradox'. The wonderful paradox affects a number of things, mainly that in order to sell something to someone, you need to make them happy. Although that's a bit of an abstract answer.

"The other aspect of it, which is pertinent to this, is to give them the product, let them feel and experience it. So however you want to come to this, whether you want to give people a good experience or whether you want to actually sell stuff it makes sense to get them involved in the product. Get them flying a remote controlled plane and sacrifice five or ten planes in the course of a Gadget Show Live, if it means that your audience, the people you are putting your business together for, can actually get hands-on and have an experience.

"That's what I'll say to someone who's not actually been to Gadget Show Live, it isn't just a shop window. It's like a playground for geeks."

You also hand out the honours to the British Inventors Project winners at the show; are you pleased with the diversity of products entered each year?

"It never ceases to amaze me each year. The diversity and also the focus of the projects I get to adjudicate on. This year's is no exception, although I can't talk about any of the products individually.

"I can tell you what I'm looking for though. All of them have to answer a question. So whatever it is, it has to solve a problem, answer a question. And often, in the fickle world of apps and Kickstarter projects, that's not always the case. Sometimes there are interesting innovations that do not solve a problem and will therefore never really gain inertia.

"So if there's a real problem that's being solved then that's a good thing.

"Also, if there's a new market. If a gadget finds or defines a new market, in the way that VR or 360-degree video have, or cheap quality video cameras that give young people a voice on YouTube, I find that really exciting."

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We can't help but have a little hatred and resentment for YouTubers, purely because they saw it happening and we didn't. The buggers.

"I'm so glad you said that. Listen, I had it all laid out in front of me. All I had to do is do a bloody video once a week. But now we're just catching up. They've been doing it for six years and doing it every single day.

"And what's even more annoying is that, as well as being stupidly talented and genuinely engaging, they are really motivated by their audience – their followers. That's something television often fails to do. It often fails to be truly relevant.

"They also have the freedom to do it every day because most of them don't have kids or conventional job structure that keeps them rooted in having to commute every day. So with the same hand where I hugely admire them, I'm also hugely jealous of them.

"But I'm willing to forego my own petty grievances to stand in awe and respect at the most significant communication medium of my generation.

"Obviously, television already existed when I grew up as a kid, although my first TV was black and white. And I'm old enough to remember television before you could record it. Nevertheless, YouTube is a more significant happening than television was for me.

"I did witness the advent of videogames, which is pretty damn important – after all, if you took away games from the YouTube roster, what would you be left with?"

You originally started as a runner on GamesMaster, why do you feel there aren't big videogames shows like that on TV anymore?

"It's crazy. If you look at gaming and the immense global love of the shared experience, and at how genuinely interactive it is and what a tribe it represents, and even at the marketing opportunity it represents for a TV channel to connect to one of the most attractive demographics in all of retail, you have to wonder why they don't do it?

"This is why I can't hate YouTube, because these kids are doing what mainstream media refused to do for years, which is give young people what they want – their fair share of game related content on the medium that they love: television."

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Do you think VR and AR will be big mediums this year or are they overpriced?

"They are definitely overpriced. The HoloLens devkit costs $3,000!

"But saying that, I think that everything is cheap now in relative terms. Even $3,000 to get a devkit is a very different proposition to, say, what it cost to get the original PlayStation development hardware. So I don't think the barrier is cost. I think the barriers are applications and uses.

"I've got two Oculus headsets, including a DK2, but I don't use it because there's nothing to play with it. I can go on Steam and get a few interesting titles, but generally the likes of Elite: Dangerous is a rarity in terms of providing a really immersive narrative in a VR experience. That's very much the exception.

"I think PlayStation VR promises, for me, the nearest we'll get to the potential of mass market VR this side of 2017."

So what will the main tech trend and story be this year?

"It's still definitely VR. It doesn't need to be mass consumer to be the biggest story.

"Technology always has a way of surprising us. We all think we're really clever and we can predict this that and the other, but it's often the thing that no one saw coming. I had one of those Segways – whatever they call them these days, they mistakenly call them 'hoverboards' – for two years before the insanity that was last year's craze. Would you have ever thought anybody would give a toss about those flimsy devices that made you stand in an awkward way and are almost useless outside?

"I'm gobsmacked that became a massive trend. I couldn't see that coming at all.

"So much like I pretend I can predict, what will happen in the next 12 months is always tough."

Tickets are still available for The Gadget Show Live apart from for Saturday 2 April, which is now sold out. You can find out more gadgetshowlive.net.