Ardal O’Hanlon, well known comedian and actor who came to fame with his role as Dougal in Father Ted on Channel 4.
Did you have a part-time or summer job in Carrickmacross?
Yes, I worked in Markeys restaurant when I was about seven. On Saturday mornings, Frank Markey, my brother Rory and myself used to extract peas from their pods in the kitchen, tons of them. We got a pound between us and a bottle of red lemonade each. I think this is true although I can’t be sure. Most of my memories usually turn out to be somebody else’s memories.
Did you break many hearts in your teenage days!!!
I’d say a lot of girls used to break their hearts laughing at me. I was the least cool, most badly-dressed, socially inept person ever to set foot in the town. I was permanently embarrassed – people used to warm their hands on my face.
Was Carrickmacross ever an inspiration for your material?
It was a huge inspiration especially when I started out as a stand-up comic not so much in the material itself but in the delivery. Carrick people have a distinctive dry deadpan wit, a heightened sense of the absurd and a unique phraseology. I think I was able to tap into that. When it came to writing my novel, Carrickmacross was obviously the model for the town but the characters and the story itself were entirely fictional.
Do you think the area has changed since you moved on? If yes, how?
There are a lot more flowers on display.
Do you get a chance to visit the town often?
About once a month, although my parents will probably tell you that’s a lie. Mind you it is my job to lie professionally.
What projects are you working on at the moment?
Just finishing a third series of a sitcom for BBC called My Hero. (That’s the truth).