This much I know: June Rodgers, Comedienne

I got into show business purely by chance.

This much I know: June Rodgers, Comedienne

I was always a bit of a messer and when I was working in the Fujitsu factory in Tallaght I took part in John Player Tops of The Towns, just for something to do. It all started from there.

Going on stage for the first time was nerve wracking but I loved the response from the audience and got the bug.

My idea of misery is doing a job you don’t enjoy because you have to. I know because I did it — I’d been working in the same job for nine years.

My family backed me fully when I decided to leave, even though I was giving up a full time job. And here I am 23 years later.

I suppose fate has a lot to do with it. And luck. I had lots of luck — Gaybo, Pat Kenny, Joe Duffy and Derek Mooney have all been really good to me. Getting that first break on the likes of The Late Late Show was pure luck.

Growing up, I was a character. I was a tomboy, my sister was the one in the frilly dresses.

I was born in Tallaght when it was still a sleepy rural village in County Dublin. My earliest memory is sitting on the garden wall watching tractors and cattle passing by.

I still get nervous knowing I have to go out there and make 2,000 people laugh. I try to talk myself around it. I’m very visual and although I can’t remember what I did yesterday, I seem to be able to memorise scripts by visualising the text on each page.

I don’t have a great work/life balance. Once I start on a new show, the script never leaves me — I will eat drink and sleep that show until its over.

I got my sense of humour from my father. My biggest blow was losing my mum when she was only 56 and my dad when he was 63. They both died far too young and I regret that they didn’t see my success.

When you are starting out in showbusiness you really have to learn your trade. If you are a plumber you need to do so and it’s exactly the same in this line of work. The problem now is that so many reality television shows tell people who can sing that they are a star and that is clearly not always the case.

Sincerity is a really important trait for me in my friends.

I’m a home bird. I live in a cottage that’s 110 years old. I love nature and gardening and walking the dogs. I’ve two of them, Beauty who is a black labrador and Poppy who is a terrier, like a little fox.

My husband Peter is very supportive, although I probably drive him around the twist. We’ve been together 20 years and married for 17. We met when he came to see a show I was doing in Clontarf Castle — my cousin and aunt brought him along.

There has got to be give and take in every relationship. You have to give time to each other’s hobbies. Peter is into classic cars and we make sure to spend lots of time pursuing that interest of his together.

I’m a bit of a perfectionist when it comes to work. I believe that there is a certain standard people expect from me and I’m not going to let them down. I want to achieve so much with each show — its not just me who’s up there, we have 16 dancers and performers and crew involved and every time I do a new show I up the ante. Then I think, how am I ever going to top that?

My show caters for all ages. I have 20 costume changes in my new show. I try to change the picture every few minutes as new audiences have a shorter attention span, they’re so used to switching channels on television.

June Rodgers Merry Month of June Tour — Fri, June 6 — Theatre Royal, Waterford; Sat, June 7 — Glor, Ennis; Sun, June 8 — Cork Opera House; Thurs, June 12 — Galway Town Hall; Fri, June 13 — Mullingar Arts Centre; Sat, June 14 — Bord Gais Energy Theatre, Dublin; Sun, June 15 — Lime Tree Theatre, Limerick

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