AN Evening With Pam Ayres at York Theatre Royal tomorrow night (September 15) will involve a combination of the old and the new from the doyenne of observers of the absurd details of everyday life.

"What happens is I look at what I did the last time I played somewhere, to avoid doing too much of the same stuff, while introducing some new pieces," says the Cotswolds writer, broadcaster, comedic entertainer and songwriter, who turned 70 in March.

"I'm having quite a good writing phase at the moment, so I'll include some of those. It's very uplifting when that happens; it feels like I've done what I'm supposed to do! I love doing it and it's quite tricky to get it right, especially as I've had a bad writing period recently when I found it so depressing to leave everything that meant so much to me when we left our home after 28 years."

She can smile now at the move, but she recalls how she "dreaded it for years, hated it while it was happening, so there was a long unproductive period".

"But then I wondered what I'd been worried about," she says, before coming up with the answer. "One is a known quantity and the other is a completely unknown quantity.

"But we've been at our new home for two years now and I feel more positive about the possibility of a new book than I would have done two years ago. I feel it's now a distinct possibility."

Pam then reveals she and her husband moved only six miles down the road. "We moved into the house that was the home of our family doctor, so I feel there's a veneer of goodness to it," she says with typical Ayres humour.

First coming to national attention with her turn of phrase and quizzical bucolic voice on the talent show Opportunity Knocks in 1975, Pam has since written such poetry collections as The Works, With These Hands, Surgically Enhanced and You Made Me Late Again!, with her poems featuring in school textbooks around the world, from Britain, the USA, China, Australia and New Zealand to Holland, South Africa, Ireland and Singapore. There has been an autobiography too, The Necessary Aptitude in 2011, but she puts no time limit on when a new poetry volume may emerge in print.

"I'm not that prolific, but because I've written such a lot in the past, I think people think I whip out the next book more quickly than I do," says Pam.

"I do know I don't want to write about being a particular age or only about what applies to older people. I want to write about what applies to everyone, whereas when I was younger I didn't care about who I wrote for.

York Press:

"It's important to have light and shade in a show," says Pam Ayres

"It was just about writing funny things and people just wanting a laugh, but my poem Woodland Burial changed all that, when it was picked up by natural burial grounds and nicely inscribed on chapel walls.

"Now I think it's important to have light and shade in a show, following something humorous with something more serious, something old followed by something new."

Pam greatly enjoys performing, but this was not always the case. "It's much more enjoyable now, because I was petrified in the early days, going from performing in folk clubs to a fairly ruthless agent pushing me in front of thousands of people when I wasn't fully mentally prepared for it and didn't really have enough material," she recalls.

"I wasn't really ready for it, playing to big audiences here and in Australia, where I was just petrified and got no thrill out of it, when I didn't know if the new poems were good. Now, I've been doing it for long enough to know I have a loyal audience and I feel very happy and confident and I'm in control of it all."

At 70, Pam will continue performing "as long as I have my memory and I'm fit and well". "I'm not as young as I was, but I just want to really enjoy it and try to give us all a happy evening," she says.

You may be surprised to learn that Pam does not consider herself to be a poet "in the accepted sense". "I don't know what category I'd put myself in, but 'poet' conjures up something cerebral when I just want to make people laugh and think," she says, pointing to such works as Pollen On The Wind, written in response to moving house, and September Song, her recollection of children leaving home for university and the great abyss they left behind.

"If you write with a balance of being funny but with an underlying sadness, it's a great feeling. I've never failed to be amazed by the power of words, the way they can make you laugh or cry."

An Evening With Pam Ayres, York Theatre Royal, tomorrow (September 15), 7.30pm. Box office: 01904 623568 or