BILL Bailey is buzzing. After a gap of two years, the comedian is hugely excited about returning to the live arena.

His new show entitled, Larks in Transit, which visits the BIC tomorrow, will address politics, philosophy and the pursuit of happiness. Offering a one-off mixture of virtuoso comedy and virtuoso music, Bill is one of the best loved comedians in the UK.

The good news is that Bill is just as delightful in person as he is on stage. It is like being treated to a Royal command performance – to an audience of one. The comedian who has enjoyed a dozen successful international stand-up tours over the past 20 years, says nothing beats the heady feeling that comes from live comedy. “There’s nothing quite like it. It’s a singular experience. I don’t think there is anything that quite matches up to it in all of performance art. When you’re in a play or a band, it’s still a collaborative thing.

“When everything comes together and you think of an idea, a joke or routine that connects with people, it’s incredible. It’s the most amazingly satisfying experience hearing an arena full of people laughing at something you’ve thought up. It’s a tremendous buzz.”

Bill, who won the Best Live Stand-Up gong at the British Comedy Awards in 1999, adds that, “The best of those times come when you’re laughing along with them. It’s like you’ve hit on a bit of funny. It’s a bit of funny that was out there, a bit of universal funny that you’re just lucky enough to have plucked and shared with everyone. Those moments rare, but they are wonderful.

“There’s a great folk singer who said that the tunes are out there. You just have to tap into them or capture them before someone else gets them.”

Larks in Transit features long-form stories about the weird and wondrous places that Bill has visited. “The show is about being lucky enough to have those kind of experiences where you get to think about the world and our relationship with Nature. But it’s also about how my life has led me to the point where people do recognise me in those same places.”

Larks in Transit also has some thought-provoking things to say about the merits of perseverance. Bill, who for 11 highly popular series was a team captain on BBC2’s hit comedy pop quiz show, Never Mind the Buzzcocks, reflects that, “My grandfather was a great influence on me. He was a stone mason, and he had a very strong work ethic. Somehow, through all the chats I had with him, I get the feeling that’s rubbed off on me.

He used to tell me about the dignity of work and really developing a craft. He taught me that you shouldn’t give up too easily. You continue, you endure, you keep moving forward and somehow work gains its own meaning. You don’t have to think too much about it. You just keep going. I hope I have been true to the spirit of what my grandfather said.”

His show will also include some of Bill’s inimitable musical flights of fantasy. He will, for example, create a symphony out of ring tones. The comedian considers the importance of music in his show.

“It’s another dynamic really, it’s a bit of light and shade. I always think it’s a tremendous art and a tremendous skill to keep people’s attention with the spoken word for a couple of hours. I’m always aware of that. So when I was starting out in stand-up, I was looking for ways to break it up.

“I think music works on a different level to language. Some of the words create a picture and can feed people’s imaginations. Often slow-burn, great, long routines can build up to great crescendos. But music gets you on the gut level. It gets you straight away. It’s a more instantaneous kind of reaction.”

Another standout characteristic of Bill’s comedy is his captivating use of language. “I think we’re very lucky to have English as our language. It’s just so expressive and so endlessly supple, and it has myriad ways of telling the same story. You can tell the same story, embroider it, put in new language, and it becomes something completely different. It’s a treat and a wonder.”

Bill’s shows remain so entertaining because, after more than three decades in comedy, Bill is still as passionate about it as ever. “I appreciate it even more now because I realise that I’m lucky to have this career. I’m lucky to still be doing this and to do something I love. I’m lucky that after all these years, people still want to come and see me.

“My priority is always funny first. Then if you have the time and the experience to refine it to the level where maybe the odd phrase does get through to people – well, that’s as good as it can get really.”