No surprises - just Billy at his best

IT'S hard to know whether life as a stand-up gets harder or easier for Billy Connolly.On the one hand after 30 years in the business he's so well known that those who forked out £30 for a ticket to one of his interval-free sold-out shows no doubt love him before he's even walked on stage.

IT'S hard to know whether life as a stand-up gets harder or easier for Billy Connolly.

On the one hand after 30 years in the business he's so well known that those who forked out £30 for a ticket to one of his interval-free sold-out shows no doubt love him before he's even walked on stage.

On the other, as one of Britain's favourite comedians they have obvious expectations that his show will register at the top end of the laugh counter and show none of the tiredness that could be expected from someone with three decades in the comedy game behind them.

As it was when Connolly presented himself before his gushing crowd at the Regent - after overcoming a problematic Sat Nav device and Ipswich's one-way system earlier in the day - all he had to do was walk a few steps on stage before he got his first barrage of enthusiastic applause.


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Less than ten seconds later he'd fired off his first expletive - the kind of colourful language his fans have come to accept and even adore - and he had them eating from his hand for the rest of his two-hour show.

Throughout he flitted from one story to the next, sometimes without finishing the last, only to return to it after half-finishing another. He repeatedly teased the audience with a story about a dwarf getting on a bus before drifting away from it, only to return to it and drift away again.

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At the heart of it all were stories of his early years in Glasgow but the tried-and-tested comedy topics of politics, foreplay, terrorism and nagging wives were also there, proving Connolly wasn't exactly planning to break new ground with this Too Old To Die Young show.

But at the end of the day he gave the packed Regent exactly what they came for and they lapped it up.

Such was the intensity of the laughter that mid-way through the show he had to pause to allow one woman to get her breath back.

Sadly we never found out what happened to that dwarf on the bus.

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