Acclaimed British comedian and musician - and now dancer - Bill Bailey is En Route to Normal.
Bailey has been released from his two-week managed isolation stint in an Auckland hotel - and he's managed to escape with his sanity and sense of humour intact.
That's good news for those with tickets to his upcoming New Zealand shows, including one in Whanganui on March 31.
Bailey told the Chronicle that being a touring performer meant he was already well-versed in spending long periods of time in hotel rooms.
"I'm usually holed up in hotels for large swathes of the year, so it's not a hugely different experience to that which I've experienced before," Bailey said.
"The difference is the ability to come and go at whim, and the slight encroachment on your freedom.
"You get used to the routine pretty quickly though. One thing I noticed was that when the meals showed up outside the door in the little brown bag, I started to salivate, rather like a Pavlovian dog."
Quarantine was made easier by the fact there was a garden at his hotel, Bailey said.
"I think being able to walk around made a big difference.
"I was able to use the time quite productively. I had my little keyboard with me, along with my guitar and some recording equipment, so I recorded quite a bit of music and did a lot of writing.
"There was plenty to be getting on with."
Bailey, who along with his partner Oti Mabuse won series 18 of Britain's Strictly Come Dancing last year, said he was looking forward to coming to Whanganui for the first time.
"One of the great pleasures of doing this job is to play in new places and new theatres, and to meet new audiences. I always try and do that in all my times touring around the world.
"I'm very much looking forward to it, and I'm looking forward to being on stage generally.
"I haven't done a live gig for over a year, so it's going to be quite emotional."
Bailey's 2021 trip to Aotearoa is the latest chapter in a 25-year love affair with the country.
"In the early days I first came over for the Comedy Fest, and it was a regular feature on the comedy touring schedule," Bailey said.
"I came every year for five years after that. Subsequently it became a biennial visit, so there's been a fair few times over the years.
"It's always a pleasure performing here."
His native UK was now in the midst of its third Covid-19 lockdown, Bailey said, with the latest proving the most difficult due to the "perishing cold and torrential rain" of the English winter.
"This one is the harshest to bear out of all of them really, because when the first lockdown happened it was all new, and everyone was a bit wary and obviously very concerned about going out.
"It happened at a time when the weather was unusually warm in England, and so people were able to spend time outdoors and sit in their garden and enjoy birdsong. It made it more bearable."
British people were "notoriously standoffish", Bailey said, so social distancing hadn't been a problem.
"We were quite happy with that.
"It's [Covid-19] all we've ever talked about in Britain for the last year, and it's actually replaced the weather as the first subject British people broach when they meet each other.
"We start talking about infection rates and the new variants, and whether the vaccines have been rolled out, before we get to the weather, because the weather now is uniformly awful."
Bailey said there was a "balancing act" between talking about an unignorable global crisis and talking about what could come after it.
"Maybe it's a subject that we can branch off from and talk about other things, like how it's affected us in terms of creativity, and how it's affected people's lives and what we got up to during lockdown.
"Maybe there's a changing of people's social mores, and different ways of doing things.
"I think that's one of the most fascinating things about it is whether it's precipitated change, how we come out of it, and if there's an explosion of creativity, much like there was after the Spanish 'flu pandemic in 1918.
"That led to the roaring '20s, and this explosion of arts and creativity and energy."
Now free from the confines of his hotel room and let loose on an unsuspecting New Zealand public, Bailey said one of the greatest thrills so far was to simply march into a cafe and order a coffee.
"Sitting there without having to worry about a mask or sitting two metres apart just felt like utter, decadent joy.
"I've been hopping away from people, and I have to try and stop doing that. It's quite unnerving.
"People come up to me to shake hands and I flinch, and my arm shoots back.
"I'm having to relearn how to socialise myself."
An avid nature enthusiast, Bailey said he would try to visit Bushy Park Tarapuruhi while he was in Whanganui if his schedule allowed.
"New Zealand is a beautiful country, and when I occasionally get a day off I get to go and do something outdoorsy, which is my other great love.
"I was just reminded of one of my first trips to New Zealand, when I was taken around Zealandia in Wellington, which was just wonderful.
"New Zealand birds are fantastically exotic. Even your common garden birds are exotic to me."
Bill Bailey will be learning how to resocialise himself at his "En route to Normal" show at the Royal Wanganui Opera House on Wednesday, March 31. The show begins at 8pm.