Bill Bailey speaks to Alix Culbertson about performing at Kew Gardens this week, why getting involved in local politics is so important -  and dingoes

Comic genius Bill Bailey is 'absolutely stoked' he will be drawing this year's Kew the Music to a close.

Qualmpeddlar is his current show and he says the audience can expect something extra special as this is the first time he has performed at the famous botanical gardens which are close to his heart as he campaigns alongside David Attenborough and Jane Goodall against government cuts to the 300 acre world heritage site.

Bill is not known for putting on a standard comedian's set, expect music, lots of visuals and he promises his famous Downton Abbey reggae piece will be in there as well - there's no room for boredom where this 50-year-old is concerned.
He has performed in front of massive crowds all over the world but talking to Bill it is obvious just how excited he is about Sunday's show.

As well as being arguably the UK's most successful comedian, Bill is often seen around Hammersmith where he has lived for 27 years, campaigning on local government issues.
A staunch supporter of the Labour Party, he texted Hammersmith MP Andy Slaughter at 5am to congratulate the Labour group when they won the local election on May 22.

"It's so important to get involved in local politics," he said. "That's where the real change takes place. I support the Save Charing Cross Hospital campaign as it's crucial for people in west London. My parents both worked in the NHS, which is the envy of the world, and if the hospital isn't saved it will be like a waste of time for all those hard-working people.
"One of the many great things going on in the area is the idea of a Hammersmith flyunder - it would make Hammersmith the envy of London and even Europe, I think it's a fantastic idea! And what's good is it has support from all parties. The issue now is to make sure that not too much money goes to developers, more public space would be great, it's needs to be done sensitively. "

Bill is very much embedded in Hammersmith and cannot have enough praise for the borough. "It's such a great place to live and I've seen a lot of good change over the years. My favourite restaurant is Esarn Kheaw, a Thai restaurant  in Uxbridge Road. If you like authentic Thai food it is one of the best, the food is tip top."

He then goes on to talk about his dingoes. Yes, he owns five wild dogs. But he promises me they are fantastic family pets and are domesticated. "They're lovely dogs and so much fun," he said.
And with that I'm left with the feeling Sunday's show is certain to be a spectacle for all ages. Let's hope it does not rain, but if it does, in typical Bill fashion I'm certain he will make the most of it.
 

Bill will be performing at Kew the Music this Sunday at 7:30pm. Adult tickets start at £41.50 and can be purchased from kewthemusic.seetickets.com