Bill Bailey has been a stand-up comedian for over two decades, producing his unique mix of anecdote, music and gags to the delight of huge audiences, including sell-out performances at Wembley Arena, not to mention his hugely popular DVDs.
He recently took his latest show Qualmpeddler abroad, having already performed over 70 dates in the UK last year.
His ability to attract impressively varied audiences is without doubt one of Bailey’s biggest talents. But how, aside from his obvious charm, does he manage to hold the attention of younger fans?
“‘Bath is full of brilliant curios, small shops, and lovely little pedestrianised alleyways.”
‘I listen to a lot of inappropriate music for a man of my standing,’ he explains. ‘But with comedy you have to reflect the world you live in, and my audience can include anyone from the age of 10 right up to the age of 80.
‘I don’t want it to become me just moaning on about grumpy old man things because I find that tedious beyond belief.’
He might be far from a miserable old grump, but Bailey’s show nonetheless casts him as what he terms a ‘qualmpeddler’ which, he explains, ‘is a very good euphemism for stand-up comedians because that’s what stand-up’s about: reflecting the everyday woes, anxieties, little worries, mundane niggles, as well as some deeper existential thoughts.’
Long before developing any real qualms of his own, Bailey was a schoolboy in Bath and has fond memories of the city. Bath is full of brilliant curios, small shops, and lovely little pedestrianised alleyways,’ he says. ‘I was very lucky to go to school there. It was a beautiful place to grow up.’
Now a full-time Londoner, Bailey still enjoys the occasional trip to the West Country. ‘Visitors to Bath should definitely go to the Roman Baths,’ he recommends. ‘It’s a bit of a touristy thing, but I like touristy things.
‘And if you get the chance, go to the Pump Room and have a Bath bun. It’s like a teacake and it’s got currants in it and it’s thick and buttery, and in the base of it are great lumps of sugar. It will keep you going all day.’ The perfect accompaniment to a day in the ancient spa city.
If you have a craving for a Bath bun, don’t forget to check out our citywide offers and discounts
before you jump on the train.