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Q&A with Neil Delamere

 


Neil Delamere is best known for his regular appearances on RTE’s The Panel and BBC’s The Blame Game. He has performed all over Ireland as well as at the prestigious Kilkenny Cat Laughs festival, the Melbourne International Comedy Festival and the New Zealand Comedy Festival. His material comes from genuinely unexpected directions, with his fertile mind making surprising, and very funny, connections that will keep audiences on their toes. Catch him in Britain this week from November 20-21 at London’s Soho Theatre. Tickets from the box office on 020 7478 0100 or visit www.neildelamere.com/gigs/

 

Who are your heroes?

I know how this goes. People always say their parents or firemen or nurses or something. I’ll plump for my neighbours who were so kind to me when I moved to the area and help me frequently in my hour of need.  So thank you. By the way I live on the same street as John Hume, Nelson Mandela, Archbishop Desmond Tutu and Aung San Suu Kyi.

 

What song would you like played at your funeral?

The Stunning’s Brewing Up A Storm. You had better believe I’m coming back after I die. I’m going to haunt the hell out of a couple of people I hate.

 

What record sends a shiver down your spine?

9.79 seconds for the 100 metres. That’s madness.

 

What is your favourite place in Ireland?

Home. Níl aon tinteán mar do thinteán féin.

 

What is your most treasured possession?

My slaves. My pyramid is coming along well.

 

What makes you angry?

Generally, injustice, prejudice, violence. What a Rose of Tralee answer! More specifically when business put their phone number on their websites as a link but they include the (0) before the number. It means you can’t click on that. That drives me insane. Much more so that civil rights violations if I’m honest.  I’ve never even been to Burma.

 

What book influenced you most?

Moby Dick. I once threw it at a mugger allowing me to make an escape. I never got to read it.

 

If you could change one thing in your life, what would it be?

I’d travel a little less.

 

What gives your life meaning?

Friends, family and currently Jo Nesbo.

 

Can you tell me a joke?

No, you have not furnished me with the necessary recompense!


Can you recommend an interesting website?

http://web.orange.co.uk/p/news/quirkies – for those odd little stories that make you feel good. You may be eccentric but you’re not as weird as the people featured.

 

What’s the best advice you’ve ever been given?

Do your own thing.

 

When did you last cry?

When I saw my roaming charges.

 

What do you see when you look in the mirror?

I see a mirror that needs to be cleaned. Oh and of course a devilishly handsome man with a talent for self-delusion and a propensity to lie.

 

What is your favourite film and why?

I’d say it’s between two. The Sting with Robert Redford and Paul Newman. Brilliant actors, great twists in the plot, famous soundtrack. Cinema Paradiso is joint first. Do you know how hard it is to get an Irishman to experience any sort of emotion? This film almost managed it.

 

What is your passion?

Stand-up comedy. I genuinely love it. If you still get a thrill when you think of a new idea that’s how you know.

 

What do you have hanging on your walls at home that you like looking at most?

A painting of a cow my brother bought me. It’s very tranquil and calming. It also looks a little like him.

 

What was your most formative experience?

Birth

 

What do you believe in?

I believe in rational science generally speaking with the proviso that every so often I’m allowed to be completely illogical and believe in something ridiculous and magical like unicorns or Liverpool Football Club.

 

What trait do others criticise you for?

Impatience.

 

What is the funniest thing you’ve ever seen or heard?

I don’t know if it was the zenith of all things funny but I once saw Born Again Christians try to convert people on Grafton St., Dublin at two o’clock on a Saturday morning. The drunks tortured them. I felt sorry for them really. I couldn’t watch the event unfold for more than a few hours.


What is your favourite word one-liner or retort?

At a lecture recently I heard an economist trying to make a point about youth European unemployment. He said: “Our aupair is Spanish and she is a qualified vet. What does that say?” Someone murmured: “It doesn’t say much about your kids that you need a vet to look after them.”

 

What would your motto be?

“What’s the worst that can happen?”

 

As a child, what did you want to be when you grew up?

I had no idea really. I went to university to do a course I knew was only a placeholder. If pushed to answer I’d say cowboy.

 

What are the best and worst things about where you live?

The traffic is probably the worst thing. But it’s no worse than most parts of Dublin. The best thing is the proximity of my family.

 

Which Irish work would you recommend most highly?

Eugene O’Brien


 

 

 

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