This much I know: Dustin the Turkey

It’s great being back on stage in the panto, although the dance routines are a bit hard on the talons.

The only problem is Twink. We had a bit of a falling out, like Mick and Roy, but we’ve made it up. I gave her a few compliments — like ‘it’s a pity you don’t have another head or you could have played both the Ugly Sisters’.

So, now we’re good old pals again, but it’s just sick to say we’re romantically involved. Maybe the rumour started when someone saw me pictured with an old blonde on me arm and drew the wrong conclusions. It was actually Joe Elliot from Def Leopard.

I enjoy performing but I don’t miss it when I’m not doing it. It’s not like oxygen to me.

I was an orphan and started out as a builder. Then Ronan Collins won me in an auction and brought me into RTÉ and the rest just happened.

Out of everyone I worked with on The Den, Socky made the most sense and had the best dentistry. I do miss The Den, having the crack, being able to tell the truth and say that Brendan Howlin is an idiot and Mary Harney looks like the back of a bus. When I was askedto say sorry for that one I said I’d like to apologise to all the buses. I’m not scared.

I was in RTÉ for 22 years — that would do anyone’s head in. We had 400,000 viewers and were getting three sackfuls of mail a day, but Zig and Zag had no problem leaving to walk the Queen’s corgies. Ray D’Arcy, Ian — they all sold out on me in the end. But I’d never sell out on the Irish. Unless it was for a very big offer from the UK.

I chill out down the pitching club, playing darts, pulling birds and pints.

I’m not bitter, but the Polish builders ruined things for my trade. Turning up on time, taking no more than two tea breaks a day, doing a decent job, charging a fair price and coming back to fix things if they went wrong.

I’m becoming more health conscious, I’m down to four batter burgers and 50 lug worms a day.

I’ve had 16 hit singles and six albums — and seven number ones — but when it comes to writing songs I basically look for anything that rhymes. If bus goes with fuss, I’ll make it fit in.

When I ran for public office I said I’d be honest about lying. But if I’d got in, the Children’s Hospital would be built by now, I’d have sorted out the long waits for a hospital bed — and we’d have better looking nurses. None of this male nurse business.

I’ve been a Unicef ambassador since 2009 which is such an honour and have travelled to places in South Africa. At first I was a bit worried about going to a place where kids were starving, but when I got there it was brilliant, we sang songs and played games and I realised boys and girls are the same all over the world.

If I could change one thing in our society, I’d take over RTÉ, turn it into a television station and pay Ryan Tubridy to leave the country.

I blame Dublin Zoo for the demise of the Celtic Tiger. They should have fed the thing.

My biggest challenge is every Christmas Eve.

So far life has taught me it’s nice to be important but more important to be nice.

And, work with Twink as little as possible.

Dustin joins an all star cast in Cinderella at the University Concert Hall in Limerick until Sunday, Jan 6, 2013.


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