Shape I’m In: Oliver Callan, comedian

COMEDIAN Oliver Callan doesn’t lose sleep about the Irish public figures and celebrities he skewers on his weekly satirical RTÉ radio show, Callan’s Kicks.

“The people I’ve annoyed are not vulnerable people. They are well able to look after themselves. It’s the precious ones who tend to get annoyed,” says the 33-year-old. Was he always a cheeky lad? “No. I was really quiet. I was the one who sat quietly through the class, and in between breaks I might have mimicked the teachers. I certainly wasn’t the class clown.” Born into a farming family in Inniskeen, Co Monaghan, he now lives in Dublin. He has been in a relationship for the past two and a half years with John.

* Oliver Callan this week helped staff at Dublin’s Beacon Hospital roll out its annual flu-vaccination programme.

What shape are you in?

I’m typical of a lot of writers/comedians in that I lead a predominately sedentary life in front of a computer. I have a bit of a paunch and I would prefer to be a bit slimmer. I do just enough walking and enough forgetting meals. I can get my fitness back fairly quickly, when I get back on the bike.

Do you have any health concerns?

I’ve been plagued by chest infections, bordering on flu, over the past couple of years in the autumn. That’s why I went for the flu jab, in the Beacon Hospital in Sandyford. There were no side-effects at all.

What are your healthiest eating habits?

I absolutely love vegetables. I would prefer them to bowls of pasta or rice. I went up to Sean Boylan, who is a herbalist, in the last few weeks and I’ve been on his herbs ever since. I’m feeling very good. Any stomach problems I’ve had are gone.

What’s your guiltiest pleasure?

Dark chocolate, especially with a bit of mint in it. And I love fancy crisps, the ones in foil bags — they have destroyed my life.

What would keep you awake at night?

I am quite a night owl. If I come up with a very good idea before I go to sleep, that makes me suddenly awake — I want to write it down.

Who would you invite to your dream dinner party?

Ricky Gervais, Eamon Dunphy, Catlin Moran and Paddy Kavanagh.

What’s your favourite smell?

Lavender.

What would you change about your appearance?

Being from the country, I am very red in the face — anything can trigger it, from red wine to caffeine and walking from a hot room out into the cold. It’s also quite uncomfortable.

When did you last cry?

When I watched the TV documentary Jimmy’s Winning Matches. It was just amazing, in terms of Donegal sport — a rags-to-riches story.

What trait do you least like in others?

Ostentation.

What trait do you least like in yourself?

Sometimes, I can be very negative about mass celebrations — like with sport. It definitely comes from my farming roots.

Do you pray?

Maybe once or twice a year. It’s reserved for crises.

What would cheer up your day?

When I meet up with friends and you have an uncontrollable fit of laughter about something. There is nothing like it on this Earth than having a right good laugh.


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