The Shape I'm In: Comedian Bernard O'Shea

The Shape I'm In: Comedian Bernard O'Shea

Comedian Bernard O’Shea has three children aged under five. It’s like open season at the zoo, he says.

“Going from one to two children is like going from owning a dog to running a zoo; going from two to three is like going from running a zoo to being in an open-top safari where the animals can attack you at any time.”

In his new book My Wife is Married to a Feckin’ Eejit, the Co Laois native lays out in detail the reasons why we all should agree, from confusing a yeast infection with an STI to buying his missus “exactly what she wanted for Christmas” — an ash-vaccum cleaner.

It’s laugh out loud, but, seriously, are we in danger of categorising all Irish men as gormless?

He’s not about to get into a debate on gender politics. “Sometimes I know I can be an eejit,” deadpans the star of RTÉ’s award-winning comedy Bridget & Eamon.

“My wife always says, Irish boys are mammy’s boys. But she never puts down Tadhg or Sean — ever. She’s held them since the day they were born.

“I look at her and say: ‘Really, I wondered how that happened?’.”

My Wife is Married to a Feckin Eejit by Bernard O’Shea, Gill Books, €16.99.

What shape are you in?

Rectangular. My weight has always gone up and down, I’m a yo-yo. I’m about 16 stone — about two stone overweight.I go to the gym twice a week and I’ve started doing Pilates to keep flexible.

I’m in OK shape but I could be a lot better.

What are your healthiest eating habits?

I eat a lot of vegetables and fruit — more fruit than vegetables because obviously you don’t have to cook the fruit. I’m obsessed with pears and berries unfortunately with ice cream.

The kids bizarrely love fruit and berries — they are really good eaters. Thank God.

What are your guiltiest pleasures?

Guinness — I wish it was just the one. When I get the chance to go out I’m 18 all over again.

What would keep you awake at night?

Babies. Like clockwork, around half-one every night Tadgh (aged three) comes into the bed.

Then we can’t have a baby and a boy in the bed together — they’re kicking and moving.

How do you relax?

I love sleeping. When I was in my teens and 20s I didn’t know how lucky I was to be able to sleep as much as you wanted to.

I get up now at around 7am — which to me is a lie-in. During the radio show (2fm’s Breakfast Republic) I get up at five o’clock.

Who would you invite to your dream dinner party?

I would love to meet Spike Milligan and Caroline Ahern — a comic genius. The Royle Family is one of my favourite shows.

Also, people who love cleaning up and doing laundry and doing mornings with children.

The Shape I'm In: Comedian Bernard O'Shea

What’s your favourite smell?

The perfume Le Labo Santal 33 — it’s unisex. I did a musical, Little Miss Sunshine, in the Olympia this year and the musical director was wearing it.

I got a bottle of it — it smells like a pipe so it’s a bit strong. I have a very sensitive nose. Neven Maguire told me I should have been a sommelier.

What would you like to change about your appearance?

Nothing only my face and torso. I’ve good legs and I have a great arse.

When is the last time you cried?

Last week when I walked on an upturned plug. I came down during the night to get one of the kids water and stood on it.

By the time I got back into the bed, I thought the water had gone everywhere but I realised there were tears streaming out of my eyes with the pain.

I didn’t have the time to realise I was crying.

What traits do you least like in others?

All the ones I don’t like in myself.

What traits do you least like about yourself?

My temper. I lose it very quickly and instantly. I can’t do moderation. My colleagues laugh it off.

What quote inspires you most?

Billy Wilder: “If you’re going to tell people the truth, be funny or they’ll kill you.” It’s the essential ingredient to comedy.

What is your earliest memory?

Getting a Postman Pat van for Christmas when I was little. I think I was 26. It was my prize posession.

Do you pray?

I pray when I need something. I tell the big guy: ‘Look, I know I haven’t been talking to you for a while but listen up’.

What would cheer up your day?

Somebody saying “does anyone fancy a drink?”

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