It is this contrasting lifestyle, as well as his love of the mod culture, that lies at the heart of his comedy sketches and his new book À la Mod: My So-Called Tranquil Family Life in Rural France on Amazon.
And thanks to his family connections he is able to experience real French life, although some still wonder about the sharp-suited Englishman and his fashion sense.
"We live in the Loire Valley because my wife's mother, who is French, still has family in the area," Ian said.
"So we had been coming on holiday here for a long time and we'd always sort of planned to retire here, but one summer we thought 'why wait that long?'"
With his wife, Natalie, their life is never dull with three young boys and a growing collection of animals, but his comedy work takes Ian the length and breadth of the UK, for a few days it might be Leeds, then London and occasionally an appearance on BBC Radio 5 Live's Fighting Talk.
So he is able to see the good and bad about the UK, while life in France enables him to bring these observations into focus and into his comedy routine.
"Through my work I kind of see the best and the worst of the UK, there is the fun side, the sense of humour, the ability to laugh at ourselves," Ian said.
"But because I am working late at night, I'm coming out into city centres and seeing the worst of it as well. What I have noticed is that audiences have got angrier, which means society has got angrier."
Regularly travelling between the UK and France gave Ian plenty of time to observe and make notes that slowly began to form into longer articles for his blog, feature in his comedy sketches and ultimately become a book.
"I was writing the book about commuting between the UK and France, but one week travel was so chaotic and extraordinary that I wrote it all down and put it on Facebook and it all kind of grew from that," said Ian.
"When we moved to France the plan was to keep work and home life separate, but because home life was so chaotic it became the subject of most of what I say on stage.
"There are very few comedians in England able to speak about goats."
Anyone who has seen Ian on stage or television will notice his fashion sense is strongly influenced by mod culture, so much so that even when hoeing the garden path he will be dressed in a style that wouldn't look out of place on a south coast beach.
And a certain Tour de France winning cyclist has also helped bring the mod world into the French countryside.
"I guess I am flamboyant in the way I dress and even in London, and places like Brighton, people still take photos, so out here in rural France I do tend to stand out," Ian said.
"No one minds and family see it as fairly comical, and whilst Bradley Wiggins is known as le gentleman, they call me Monsieur So British, which is fun.
"But it is good to be rare and stand out a little."