Shape I'm In: Don Wycherley, Actor

Renaissance man: Actor Don Wycherley mixes it up with TV shows like Bachelors' Walk and stage work.

ACTOR Don Wycherley came to national attention in the hit TV dramas Ballykissangel, Father Ted and Bachelors’ Walk.

And though he is also one of the country’s finest stage performers, predictably, it’s his small-screen roles he’s remembered for, a fate he gracefully accepts. “It’s great that someone remembers and recognises you and appreciates work that you’ve done,” he says. “It’s part of the game.”

Wycherley, 46, has just finished a second series of Scúp, for TG4 — he plays a newspaper editor — and this week he’s performing with Gúna Nua Theatre Company in a new play, Faith. In May, he will tour his one-man show, After Sarah Myles.

Married to Deirdre, the couple live in Dublin with their three children, aged 19, 17 and 11. Will any follow in his footsteps? “Thankfully, not yet. I don’t think their mum would be encouraging them.”

* Faith runs until March 8, at the Civic Theatre, Tallaght, Dublin. 01-4627077;

What shape are you in?

I’d be in good enough shape. I go to the gym regularly and I jog regularly. I ran a 10k last night and recited my lines as I ran. It would take me 55 minutes, which is pretty slow.

Have you any health concerns?

I haven’t had a full check up in a while, but I seem to be chugging along nicely. I’m conscious that my dad died at 59, so you do think about that.

What are your healthiest eating habits?

I eat my portion of fruit a day. Also, I try not to eat outside the main meals. I stick to breakfast, lunch and dinner.

What’s your guiltiest pleasure?

Chocolate. We’ve banned it from the house, but it always comes back. I also like Ben and Jerry’s Cookie Dough ice cream, and a bottle of wine, at the weekend.

What would keep you awake at night?

When rehearsing for a play. You’re thinking: ‘will I get my lines off?’ And when there is an opening night looming, you are thinking ‘oh my God, this is the one — I’ll never work again’. But I’ve never walked away. So I’m either a glutton for punishment or insane.

Who would you invite to your dream dinner party?

Bill Murray, Meave Binchy, Michael Collins — and, of course, all my family.

What is your favourite smell?

Freshly cut grass in the summer.

When is the last time you cried?

This morning, in rehearsal for Faith — it’s one of those plays, you have to go there.

What would you like to change about your appearance?

What can you do? I’m happy enough. Why change perfection?

What trait do you least like in others?

Anyone who feels they are better than someone else, whether real or imagined.

What trait do you least like in yourself?

Sometimes, I wish I would edit before I speak — I just say what I think, not what I ought to say, and I ought to say nothing, often.

Do you pray?

I might address an aul few lines to a relative that would have passed.

What would cheer up your day?

An impromptu meeting with my mates over a pint — and a tax rebate, of course.


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