1. I think I was always this weird, watchful kind of kid, and there was an awful lot of coming and going in my house as a result of my father being a doctor and then, later, a politician… We’d literally be having to get through the window some days because we couldn’t get in the door.
  2. I was genuinely shocked to even be in the frame for a sitcom role on British TV.
  3. I had a thirst for knowledge. I was always curious about stuff.
  4. Where I come from people are very deadpan with a dry humour that I suppose rubbed off on me.
  5. I was never ideological in any sense, or a slave to any particular politics or religion. My solace and my inspiration always came from books and literature.
  6. I have other careers in terms of stand-up, stage acting and writing, so I don’t feel too hidebound by that, but I do quite like playing those warm roles.
  7. There are lots of channels and lots of companies looking for content, as they say, but it’s quite difficult to get things off the ground.
  8. Dragged out of your bed at the age of seven, my mother screaming, six kids under the age of 12. I’m not equating my experience with the people who lived in Northern Ireland. But my dad was always out and about late at night, and I could not go to sleep until I knew he was in.
  9. I think making a documentary gets you out and about more, with people. With stand-up, you’re talking at people. With documentaries you’re talking with people, and you’re listening a lot more.
  10. I’ve always wanted to play a detective. Always loved detective shows, right back to ‘Columbo’, ‘The Rockford Files’, ‘Starsky & Hutch’.
  11. When I was growing up, you never knew whether people were being serious or not. There was a lot of nodding and winking.
  12. I remember being chronically shy. I came out of my shell a bit when I went to university, but I’m still fairly shy in company.
  13. I remember my first ever gig in town, I was very nervous. I had a big red shiny face. But that all disappeared after 30 seconds and I settled down and got a great lift from that.
  14. I am going through a Neil Young phase. I also listen to a lot of alternative country, a band called Smog and Bonnie Prince Billy, which is very dark and twisted.
  15. Fundamentally, I was a very shy and quiet person growing up, so it was just really difficult getting up on a stage. It was a perverse career choice really.
  16. I crave the variety, I really do. I’d probably say standup as I think that’s what I do best, if I may say so. But it can be a really self-absorbed, obsessive way to live your life, whereas doing theatre is very collaborative and creative and intense, I’d hate to miss out on that.
  17. I have a certain sympathy with politicians having lived with one. I’ve seen how no matter how earnest or driven or energetic they are, it’s still difficult to change things. I have been encouraged to go into politics, but I don’t think I could make a contribution, it suits me better to be sniping from the sidelines.
  18. People love authenticity in comedy and, coming from a region, you get a very strong sense of place. They can place you straight away, so they can relax.
  19. As a comic, you are trying to please people in some way — to make them laugh.
  20. I listen to WTF with Marc Maron, although I’m getting annoyed with him, he’s a bit too intrusive and fawning. But he’s done some great interviews in the past, like with David Simon, the writer of The Wire, and Bruce Springsteen. He gets fantastic guests. I just wish he let them talk more.

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