“I am a bit of a fixture aren’t I? Like a bathroom tap or a door knocker,” he said.
“I’ve been doing Gras duties now for more than 20 years and still loving it. Which is lucky because it’s sort of like my own version of community service. Better than picking up ciggy butts and pop sticks, I guess.
“And who knows? One of these years I might get time off for good behaviour.”
Downe’s latest show Bob, Sweat and Tears is part of this year’s Mardi Gras, and will see him perform a new selection of classic hits with a live band led by John Thorn – and peppered with his trademark humourous antics.
When asked if he could reveal some of the new songs he would be performing, he cheekily made reference to fellow Sydney Theatre stable mates and Mardi Gras performers Courtney Act and Trevor Ashley.
“No titles. Courtney and Trevor will be reading this and they’ll nick them,” he joked.
“I’m exploring the late 60s and early 70s jazz- rock-R’n’B-pop fusion era this time. Think Bacharach, Beatles, Blood Sweat and Tears with a little bit of Gary Glitter and Bowie thrown in.”
Downe’s show is the first after a recent world tour that saw him perform all over the world, including London, San Francisco and New York City.
However, he admitted he had a soft spot for Mardi Gras audiences.
“Gras audiences are actually the best. No, really. Of course, I would say that wouldn’t I?” he said.
INFO: Bob, Sweat and Tears is on at 8pm, February 26-27. Sydney Theatre; 22 Hickson Rd, Walsh Bay. Details: mardigras.org.au