Bill Bailey's spring tour continues at Hemel Hempstead Old Town Hall (01442 242827) tonight and Leeds City Varieties Music Hall (0113-243 0808) on Fri
Bill Bailey is a one-off. There is no other performer on earth who would think of playing "Three Blind Mice" in the style of Richard Clayderman, or the Dr Who theme as sung by Jacques Brel, in French. The uniqueness of this bearded wonder is borne out by the jealous reaction of fellow comedians. "They say, `It's easy with songs. It's just copping out, innit?'," Bailey laughs. "But if any of them could play any instrument, they'd be thrashing the hell out of it for 20 minutes and getting the last gasp of a laugh out of it."

The music bug kicked in while Bailey was a boy. "When I was playing `Jimmy, Jimmy' by The Undertones, my Uncle Sid took me aside," he recalls, "and said to me, `You don't want to be bothering with this pop nonsense. Classical is the real music. As time takes its inexorable course, you'll realise that classical is the true way.' It was an evangelical speech. Now it's a deep-seated psychosis I have to work out, this reaction against that reverence of classical music. But I relish the position of being able to play it competently and get laughs out of it. That gives me some glee."

Developing the show that won a Perrier nomination at Edinburgh last year, he has beefed up what he calls "my itinerant medieval troubadour section" and added a routine about a DSS claimant who turns up late because he has been detained in a sub-Tolkein world of goblins and dragons. Nothing if not original.

EYE ON THE NEW

Ned Sherrin hosts "It Must Be Love ...", a glittery night of the stars in aid of the Terrence Higgins Trust. The line-up features Steve Coogan, Martin Clunes and Scott Capurro, as well as readings from Irvine Welsh, Douglas Adams, Hanif Kureishi, Will Self and Meera Syal.

Hackney Empire, London E8 (0181-985 2424) Wed, 8pm

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