The Independent Recommends: Comedy

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The Independent Culture
BRITAIN'S most successful comic poet, John Hegley (right), is touchingly evangelical about his art. "Poetry is a natural part of our lives, but for some reason we've become alienated from it. It's in those lovely phrases like `pleased as punch', or `wide awake', or `a lick of paint' - that's beautiful poetry because the brush is like a tongue. Poetry is everybody's." Dowse yourself in verse when Hegley appears on a splendid bill, alongside the perpetually caustic Jeremy Hardy and the talented Meera Syal from Goodness Gracious Me, in a benefit for the Joint Council for the Welfare of Immigrants, which is celebrating its 30th anniversary.

Hackney Empire, London E8 (0181-985 2424) Sun 7.30pm

There is a rare live appearance by the deliciously cheeky Graham Norton, if you fancy your stand-up camper than a row of tents.

Bound & Gagged Palmers Green, London N13 (0171-483 3456) tonight and tomorrow, 9.15pm