Billy Connolly and Joan Baez heading to Ipswich Regent

The Big Yin himself, Billy Connolly is coming to the Regent next year.

Born and raised in Glasgow, he left school to work in the shipyards becoming a welder and joining the parachute regiment of the Territorial Army.

Developing an interest in folk music Billy learnt the banjo, joining the Humblebums with Gerry Rafferty of Baker Street fame.

The jokes he cracked between songs eventually took over his act and he switched to comedy full-time.

Already a big star in Scotland, Billy became a household name in the UK after appearing on Parkinson in the early 70s.

He has released many recordings and videos of his concert performances over the years and has expanded his talents to include documentary-making and acting, appearing in a number of TV dramas and films – most famously the award-winning Mrs Brown in 1997.

The Regent’s show manager Shelley Rooke said: “We are really excited to have Billy back in Ipswich. He last visited the Regent theatre in 2007 so a return is long overdue.

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“He’s one of those artists who people love to see perform live - there’s always something really special about his shows which creates an incredible atmosphere at the theatre so book early.”

In a double boost for Ipswich, we can also reveal that legendary singer Joan Baez is coming to the Regent next year too.

She’s been a musical force of nature and massive influence on so many artists since beginning her legendary residency at Boston’s famed Club 47 and her debut at the 1959 Newport Folk Festival.

Joan’s marched on the front line of the civil rights movement with Martin Luther King, sang on the first Amnesty International tour; standing alongside Nelson Mandela when the world celebrated his 90th birthday in London’s Hyde Park.

Her earliest recordings fed a host of traditional ballads into the rock arena before she un-selfconsciously introduced Bob Dylan to the world in 1963 and focused awareness on songwriters ranging from Woody Guthrie, Phil Ochs, Richard Fari�a and Tim Hardin to Kris Kristofferson, Mickey Newbury, Dar Williams, Richard Shindell and Steve Earle.

She will be at the theatre on March 12.

Tickets for Billy Connolly’s show, next February 13-14, are on sale at 9.30am today. Tickets for Joan Baez are on sale now.