A question of taste - Simon Delaney

Simon Delaney is one of the finalists on MasterChef Ireland tonight on TV3, alongside Niamh Kavanagh and Oisín McConville. Recent acting parts for the 46-year-old father-of-four from Raheny include The Conjuring 2 and Moone Boy.

A question of taste - Simon Delaney

Best recent book you’ve read:

Michael Palin’s Halfway to Hollywood. His diaries from 1908 to 1988. A brilliant insight into all things Python, and into all things Palin. A great read.

Best recent film:

Gold, with Matthew McConaughey. I love stories like this. Stories where your rooting for the guy all the way through. And of course, it’s a film with a nice twist at the end — which I spotted about 30 minutes before it happened.

Best recent show/exhibition you’ve seen:

The Peace Proms concert at the RDS. A wonderful night’s entertainment. I’m a little biased, as my 10-year-old son and his school were part of the 2,000 strong choir on the night. The Cross Border Orchestra provided us with a brilliant night of music and singing. Go see it.

Best piece of music you’ve been listening to lately (new or old):

I’ve been revisiting the soundtrack to my favourite musical of all time. West Side Story. Based on the greatest love story ever told, and featuring the best score. I never tire of listening to this. My desert island disc.

First ever piece of music or show that really moved you:

See above answer. I was lucky enough to direct two productions of West Side Story over the years, and those memories will stay with me forever.

The best gig or show you’ve ever seen (if you had to pick one!):

Too many shows to mention. I saw Michael Gambon and Lee Evans in a production of End Game years ago in the West End. Still stays with me to this day.

Tell us about your TV viewing:

Box sets all the way. Currently loving Billions, and of course House of Cards. The odd bit of reality TV thrown in, like Dragons’ Den, and of course MasterChef.

Radio listening and/or podcasts:

I’m a talk radio fan. And in particular sports talk, so Off the Ball on Newstalk, and Talksport in the UK are on my dial always.

You’re three favourite acting performances of all time?

Jack Lemon in Glengarry Glenross.

Jack Lemon in Some like it hot.

Jack Lemmon & Walter Matthau in The Odd Couple. I’m a Jack Lemmon fan!

You’ve had loads of celebrity encounters; what was your favourite?

Working with Sean Penn on This Must Be The Place was an incredible experience. To watch him work was a real privilege. To play scenes with him was incredible. Also, walking up the red carpet at the Cannes Film Festival alongside him, Judd Hirch, Eve Hewson, etc, was a career highlight.

You can portal back to any period of human cultural history or event — where, when, and why?

1930s Chicago. Speakeasys, Al Capone, Sinatra. Need I say more?

Frank Sinatra
Frank Sinatra

Do you have any interesting family or ancestors?

All very dull, boring, law-abiding people. Some showbiz connections, my Dad was in the showbands in the 60s, he played with The Rebel Showband. And my cousin Niall Buggy, who is one of the finest actors this country has produced, inspired me to do what I do.

Unsung hero — individual or organisation who don’t get the profile/praise they deserve:

Variety. The Childrens Charity. And in particular their former barker, Doreen Smyth. I’ve been the patron for Variety for a number of years, and the work that they do on behalf of children around the country often goes unnoticed. Wonderful group of people.

You are king for a day — what’s your first decree?

We build a wall. Of chocolate.

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