Oliver Callan is from Inniskeen and is dubbed ‘The Monaghan Mimic’ by The Sunday World. Oliver Callan is the voice of Nob Nation on The Gerry Ryan Show on RTE 2FM every weekday after the 10am news.
Do you write all the material for Nob Nation?
You could say that most of the real-life versions of the Nobs do the writing themselves just by opening their mouths, but myself and a mystery writer whom I call ‘The Madman’ are behind what goes out on air. Arthur Guinness could probably claim a writing credit too, especially around the dark nights of October!
Who’s your favourite Nob character and why?
It has to be Senator David Norris because he’s the most outrageous figure and can show up in nearly every possible scenario be it a GAA match, Dail debate, the Liverpool team showers or, as on one occasion, at the Ploughing Championships claiming to be Queen of the Plough! A sketch in which he refers to someone’s willy was even banned off the air by RTE at one stage and the real-life Senator Norris has gone on Radio One and confessed to being a huge fan of his own portrayal. Bertie is also a firm favourite since he is literally involved in everything, plus the Taoiseach told the Nobs in Fagans one night that he listens to Gerry Ryan whenever he can to hear Enda Kenny’s bits.
If you had to kill of a character who would it be and how would you do it?
I would kill off George ‘the doom and gloom’ Lee by spontaeneous combustion only to let him come back to life as a ghost to haunt evey possible happy occasion with his pessimistic dreary forecasts of economic doom.
Who would you like to see replacing Steve Staunton as Ireland manager?
Eamon Dunphy. I’d love to see Gilesy dare criticise him for losing matches. Dunphy would also be able to teach the Irish soccer team how to do at least one thing right – go on a right bender.
What are your memories of national school in Inniskeen?
I did my first stage performance at school; it was Noah’s Ark and I played the part of being half the arch under which the animals marched two by two; I couldn’t even do that role right, the arch gave way when a fat lad tried to squeeze through. I also used to love it when someone in the class trying to shout ‘teacher’ with their hand up would yell out ‘Mammy’ by accident. Jaysus, that was embarrassing.
How did you end up in comedy/impersonating – did coming from Inniskeen have anything to do with it?
I performed my first load of impressions in front of a field of our cows at home. At least they laughed. My father was less than impressed when I mimicked him; ‘Mawkin’s catchin’ he used to say. He was bloody right. A character called ‘C*nteehooks McArdle’ based on me father appeared on Nob Nation recently with Kevin Myers translating his Monaghan phrases. It was a big hit on the Internet and is totally inspired by Monaghan people. Gerry Ryan actually goes around the office saying ‘you have your shite’ in a Carrick accent to bemused people in 2FM.
What’s your favourite Carrickmacross/Monaghan saying?
‘It took out’ – three simple words that uniquely mean so much in our part of the world. It can be applied to any event, be it a night’s craic in Tom Shevlins, a good football match, a riot in the Fiddlers or a murder on the Main Street.
If you had to summarise Carrickmacross or Inniskeen in one sentence what would that sentence be?
O stoney grey soil of Monaghan… wait now, has someone already used that one? Feck. ‘See ya round de Christmas’ would do it for me.
Are you working on any other projects at the moment?
I hope to put out an album of the best bits of Nob Nation very soon. Other than that, there are many pints to be had and shite to be talked in Shevlins, Markeys and Leegans Lounge in Corcreaghy whenever I can get out of the big smoke.
Thank you for your time and continued success
Web Master, Carrickmacross.ie