URSINE is a word that could have been invented to describe Rick Wakeman, but this great bear of a man has the fingers of an angel.

Here was the ex-Yes star and session player to virtually anyone alive in the 1970s chuckling through a few lifetime anecdotes and demonstrating his absolute skill on the piano.

And he absolutely dwarfed his grand piano.

From his first-ever performance at the age of five - the 13-note See A Monkey On A Stick - to Merlin the Magician from his King Arthur opus, Wakeman dazzled with his keyboard artistry.

This legendary Grumpy Old Man and Countdown regular was cheerful throughout with his tales of Brian Blessed admiring the female form, Yes singer Jon Anderson being able to paint only flowers and the pensioners who escaped from a care home to see Status Quo at Hammersmith Odeon.

In between he treated us to the amazing Nursery Rhyme Concerto, his brilliant and still secret arrangement of Morning Has Broken for Cat Stevens (for which he was paid £9, 37 years later), Eleanor Rigby in the style of Prokofiev and his stunning Life On Mars, upon which Bowie built his classic Hunky Dory album.

Old mate Ray Dorset, of Mungo Jerry fame, was in the audience to see the genial Wakeman, now 66, show us what a true artist can do - play anything, in any style at any time without blinking as much as an eyelid.