The shape I'm in: Al Porter, comedian

Al Porter says he’s very much out of shape and he runs on adrenalin.

The shape I'm in: Al Porter, comedian

WITH his slicked back hairdo and shiny retro suits, fast-talking comedian Al Porter seems older than his 23 years. But in many ways, he is still the little boy who wants to make his mother laugh.

“I can have her really, really laughing. Some of my best bits on stage come from her laughing so hard in the kitchen. And that brings me such joy. I’ve been doing that since I was a kid,” he says, adding that he still lives at home.

Known for his risqué sense of humour, there are times when even his devoted mum is taken aback.

“I think she feels I’ve been both a blessing and that God has sent me to challenge her.”

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What shape are you in?

I’m very much out of shape. I run purely on adrenalin. The only exercise I get is on stage. Arguably it’s not bad because I sweat quite a lot.

In my shows I drag myself across the stage I’ll be jumping up and down, I’ll be sitting, I’ll be kneeling. That’s the only form of exercise that I ever get. But my doctor tells me that I’m in good shape. I had a full check up recently.

I was particularly worried about my liver because I drink like a hell-raiser. Surprisingly, thanks to my youth, I’m all fine. I’m 23. The doctor said, “this is not a licence for you to go and hammer your body even further”.

What are your healthiest eating habits?

I’ve always had a weird thing about the texture of fruit and veg. I don’t like eating them. But I make juices: a vegetable one with broccoli and carrot — it’s quite disgusting — and the fruit one, which is much nicer — I put in kiwi, blueberry, strawberry, apple and banana.

I make these every morning and I’ll have about two of the fruit ones and one of the vegetable ones during the day to keep the nutrients up a little bit.

What would keep you awake at night?

Ear worms — a song that will get caught in my head and I’ll play it over and over again. I think a lot of people play out conversations in their heads but sometimes what someone like me has the pleasure of being able to do is to turn it into dialogue.

It’s a healthy by-product of anxiety for me. If I write it down it’ll probably go into something eventually. I would have a notepad beside the bed.

How do you relax?

I only get about four hours’ sleep because my mind is racing. I’ve tried yoga, mindfulness, herbal calm tablets and green tea, but none of it works for me.

The only thing that gets me out of my body and out of my mind is watching another performance — a comedian, musician, a musical or a movie.

Who would you invite to your dream dinner party?

You’d have to have Stephen Fry. He could bring that good looking husband of his who is more my age, so I could probably steal him.

Barry Humphreys — I’d love to see him eat.

Carol Vorderman, she is so interesting, so smart, and obviously she is stunningly gorgeous, which adds to any party.

And Colm O’Gorman. He is such a lovely man.

What’s your favourite smell?

The awful damp musky smell in the Olympia Theatre. It reminds me of Christmas.

When is the last time you cried?

I’ve made friends with a young comedian called Nathan. He’s only 19 and is brilliant — a very funny guy.

Recently he had a tough gig and was upset about it. Then he said to me that I’d changed his life this year. And then I said he’d done the same for me and I just cried. I really don’t cry that often.

What traits do you least like in others?

When I meet people I just want to know something about them. I don’t want them to tell me their best story about what they and the lads did on a stag night. It’s a kind of masculine one-upmanship.

What traits do you least like about yourself?

That’s a long list. Comedians are fuelled by their own self-hatred. When somebody asks where do I get my material I just write about what I don’t like about myself.

That’s why I focussed on campness and sexuality for so long — I wanted to exorcise it from my teenage years.

Also my overthinking and over anxiousness and my vulnerability to love. I fall in love very often — deeply and madly like a romantic poet.

Do you pray?

When I was a teenager I did a lot of praying. The closest I get to praying now is probably just a quiet mumble to myself at night ,saying I hope something changes for me or for somebody else.

What would cheer up your day?

The opportunity to share a song or a funny joke with a stranger.

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