When starting out as a comedian, Cork man Andrew Ryan decided to go to straight to London, sidestepping the usual starting ground of Irish clubs and pubs.
“London is the place to go. You have the best comedy clubs in the world. In Britain, they love comedy, they love satire, they love stand up.”
It helps that there’s a gaggle of Irish comedians living in London — “there’s a small village of us here”.
The decision paid off. Describing his style as a cross between Ardal O’Hanlon and Ed Byrne, he’s appeared on BBC3’s Russell Howard Show and BBC One’s panel show The Blame Game.
His girlfriend Anne Marie, is from Limerick and is studying for a PhD in clinical psychology at Queens University Belfast.
It means he’s in the Northern Ireland capital one week in the month. Not about to sit on his hands, he’s one of the resident hosts of the Empire Comedy Club.
His upcoming show in the Everyman is titled, Is everything alright at home?
“It’s about me trying to change my opinions and change my thoughts — I often find people worry about the world so much when actually you should be worrying about what’s really in front of you — your friends, your family.
"To focus on that and if all that is good then you’ll be alright.”
Is everything alright at home? The Everyman, Cork Saturday, October 19.
Andrew is also performing at the Vodafone Comedy Carnival, Galway, Friday, October 25 and Sunday October 27.
What shape are you in?
I’m in OK shape. I work out about four times a week for 40 minutes at home doing fitness videos. I follow this American guy called Sean T — he does the Insanity workouts.
I’m 37 now, so it is a little bit harder to manage as I notice how hard it is to lose the belly if I have a bad food week.
What are your healthiest eating habits?
I wake and say I’m going to have a good day today — this morning I had a bagel, scrambled egg and salmon for breakfast.
Then I get to lunch and I have a coffee, a soup and a salad wrap but as it gets to four or five o’clock, I think, ‘oh there’s a Twix,’ and next thing you know I’m down in the Chinese.
I try not to eat too much red meat but the salt and pepper spare ribs get me every time.
What are your guiltiest pleasures?
I bloody love Ikea. I think it is such a cool place. I go there about once a month as it’s near me and I buy stuff I don’t need.
What would keep you awake at night?
I have a habit of running through every conversation I had that day and checking did I say anything inappropriate.
Or I read back texts to make sure they came across the right way.
How do you relax?
I play golf and when that goes bad it makes me furious. I’ve started yoga and turning my phone off at different times in the day for an hour to two.
Recently, I have borrowed my sister’s old English sheepdog, Ruby, and taken her out for long walks. And Spotify.
Who would you invite to your dream dinner party?
Tiger Woods, Roy Keane, and Bill Burr.
What’s your favourite smell?
There is something about freshly cut grass that gets me. I have a small garden and I love cutting the grass and having that smell.
What would you like to change about your appearance?
My right leg is longer than my left leg. I have to wear special insoles in my shoes to stop me from having back or shoulder pain.
It bugs me from time to time. So, I would love to have two legs of equal length.
When is the last time you cried?
Honestly, nearly every day for the past two weeks. I lost my mum a fortnight ago and I’m going day by day.
What traits do you least like in others?
People who are always saying yes to things but never turning up. Lateness is a big thing for me.
Five or 10 minutes is not an issue but 40 minutes late, it better be some excuse.
What traits do you least like about yourself?
I procrastinate quite a bit and put stuff off.
Do you pray?
Only when I need something and I’ve prayed a bit over the last few months.
What would cheer up your day?
Knowing I can go back to bed if I wanted to.