WHEN comedian Julian Clary arrived in Melbourne to start his latest stand-up tour, a staff member of the airline he flew with greeted him at the gate and was so friendly, he was expecting her to share some good news.

But she was there to tell the Englishman that his bags had been stranded in Dubai and would be delayed in arriving to Australia.

“You know how it is, someone met me off the flight and they were trained to tell you bad news when you think it will good news. I ended up saying thank you to her after my bags were left in Dubai,” he told Star Observer.

Clary, known for his acerbic wit and willingness to push boundaries, is in Australia performing his 30th anniversary tour with his show The Joy of Mincing, a retrospective on his career with the title a reclamation of all the times in his life he was given grief for his sexuality. Mincing is a derogatory term used against men who don’t present as masculine.

“As a teenage boy with my kind of voice and mannerisms, I faced a lot of disapproval. But I’ve now turned it to my advantage,” he said.

“I’m using mincing as a reclaimed word which used to be used as an insult. But now mincing is a declaration of joy in one’s self.”

The show covers all of his 30 year career and there is so much he has to tell you; the ups and downs of his sordid love life, the true and heart stopping account of how he saved Dame Joan Collins’ life, and don’t start him on the perils of his DIY electrical home enema kit.

Watch Clary’s infamous joke at the 1993 British Comedy Awards (NSFW):

Clary’s surprised his career has lasted so long, he thought he would only be doing stand-up for a couple of years before being forced to find a proper job.

“I never imagined it would see me through this long,” he said.

“I don’t understand psychology, but I think I do it (comedy) because I need the constant reassurance of being on stage and being liked. I think it comes down to that.

“You also get to talk about yourself all the time, which I quite like.”

MELBOURNE:  WEDNESDAY SEPTEMBER 7, HER MAJESTY’S THEATRE

SYDNEY: THURSDAY SEPTEMBER 8 & SATURDAY SEPTEMBER 10, SYDNEY OPERA HOUSE

PERTH: MONDAY SEPTEMBER 12, ASTOR THEATRE

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