I DO wish Vic Reeves would stop bothering me. Once upon half a lifetime ago, he used to nag me to mention his pub comedy slot. Now he’s followed me all the way to York.

Vic would come to the newspaper where I worked at the time and stand in reception. He’d ask to see me, hand over a flyer and suggest I pop along to the show. I never did, which I ended up regretting.

To be honest, I used to think, “Oh, it’s him again, banging on about Vic Reeves’ Big Night Out. It’s bound to be just two men and a dog watching.”

As we now know, Vic had the last laugh. I transplanted myself from south-east London to York. One day, I switched on the television and there was Vic and his big night out. One of those two men must have been a talent scout. Either that or the dog was.

These memories have been stirred by yesterday’s news that Vic Reeves is to be the star turn at this year’s Illuminating York Festival. Apparently, his artwork will transform Museum Gardens into a “magical wonderland”.

Well, I jogged through there the other morning and it looked pretty magical as it was, especially the prairie border near the entrance; and that was without the intervention of a TV comedian known for his absurdist sense of humour.

Before progressing further along what might threaten to be a grumpy path, I should stress one important thing: I love Illuminating York and have been to every display yet, from that truly magical moment in 2005 when the French artist Patrice Warrener lit up York Minster in roving candy stripes of colour.

That first experience still remains the best, although the year when the Yorkshire Museum was illuminated with scientific images while the ruins of St Mary’s Abbey were simultaneously lit up with religious symbols was remarkable too.

Vic Reeves hasn’t been bothering me about his Illuminating York gig, at least not yet. I haven’t found him in reception, asking me to publicise his latest show. But I am going to anyway, just for old time’s sake.

Vic in person was always very pleasant, but his absurdist routine doesn’t really do it for me. It’s fair to say that plenty of other people seem to enjoy it. What I would add is that a TV show is one thing, a fine old city quite another. Do we really want to see York transformed into a Vic Reeves wonderland? I’m not at all sure I do, although I could be proved perfectly wrong.

Obviously, you can’t review something which hasn’t happened yet, but a number of things worry me about this. Does York need to rely on a big-name signing for its annual illuminations? And will the city really reap benefits from this unusual deal with Blackpool Council, under which York will borrow whatever the seaside town isn’t using for its illuminations?

Well, that’s my interpretation of the arrangement and it could be mistaken. What I would say is that York seems to have done very well to date with striking, unusual and challenging displays. It seems worth pointing out that York isn’t Blackpool, and that isn’t merely a matter of geography. Also, I hope there is no attempt to dumb down our own illuminations.

Then there is the matter of paying to see this year’s main display. Part of the joy of city illuminations is that they take place out in the open in a public space and attendance is free.

That’s always been the attraction and the point: the communal gathering to celebrate a familiar space seen differently.

Attendance at York’s cornerstone productions isn’t cheap. The Mystery Plays cost us £60 for three tickets, but we paid happily and were glad we went. Our annual trip to the Theatre Royal panto comes in at more than £100 if we all go. Again, money well spent but there is only so much to go around, especially nowadays.

Still, maybe Vic will prove me wrong all over again and words will have to be swallowed once more. It’s time to wait and see.