James Rampton on comedy

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The Independent Culture
Julian Clary in no more outrageous costumes shock-horror. After "going straight" as the lead in Genet's Splendid's at the Lyric Hammersmith, the man who was once a byword for sartorial flamboyance - remember that Sticky Moments costume which had a mock-up of the New York skyline perched on his shoulders? - has reportedly moderated the worst excesses of his wardrobe.

For his new stand-up show - previewing at the BAC next week before going up to Edinburgh - he will apparently be in "smart but casual" gear. The effect may be like Mike Yarwood saying "and this is me" at the end of his shows. Clary (right), has of course successfully reinvented himself before. He moved seamlessly from the Joan Collins Fan Club, an outre fringe comedy act with his pet Fanny the Wonderdog, to his role as a mainstream Channel 4 game-show host on Sticky Moments.

None of this means that his material will be toned down, however. Julian Clary without innuendoes would be like Ken Dodd without the tickling- stick. The pre-publicity promises that he will be showing slides from his early years and reading from his gardening book, Fun in the Potting Shed. It also advises people to bring their own Kleenex. Ooo! matron!

Julian Clary is at the BAC, Lavender Hill, London, SW11 (0171 223 2223) 17 to 19 August, and at the Assembly Rooms, Edinburgh (0131-226 2428) 24 to 27 August.