BEST known as the hilarious and sometimes outrageous Jake Stevens from RTÉ’s Naked Camera and Makin’ Jake, Dubliner PJ Gallagher is in Cork Opera House tomorrow night.
The Meet Your Neighbours star says he loves Cork audiences because they “just tip along with you. A Cork audience is one of the best. There’s always a good atmosphere — they get involved.”
PJ, who has just turned 37, says he’s getting married to hairdresser girlfriend Elaine Stewart on Valentine’s Day 2013. “We’ve been going out together 14 or 15 years. It’s going to be in Las Vegas — a bit of a runaway job.”
What shape are you in?
I hurt my shoulder a few weeks ago but I’m fitter than I’ve been in a long time. All my clothes fit. I’ve even had a haircut so my head looks the right shape. I walk the dogs for an hour nearly every day. I do road cycling every Sunday. I do BMX racing on Saturdays and Wednesdays and have recently started it on Mondays. I go to the gym twice a week.
Do you have any health concerns?
I’ve got an old injury to my leg from years ago and I’ve had three operations already but the leg is still dodgy. I’m having another operation at the end of the year. I’ve got a torn muscle in my shoulder but I’ll just rest that and it will heal.
What are your healthiest eating habits?
The healthiest thing I do is call down to my ma’s for lunch. Left to myself, I’d be getting food in the petrol station and eating the odd bit of fruit just to prove I can still digest it.
What’s your guiltiest pleasure?
Chocolate — Easter Sunday is my Christmas morning. It doesn’t matter whether I have two eggs or 200 – I’ll have eaten all of them by lunchtime.
Do you sleep well?
I do at the moment because I’m so tired with all the training and gigging. It’s not like me to sleep well — usually, I’m all over the place. I’ve bought myself a new mattress to celebrate that I’m sleeping better.
How do you relax?
I don’t go to pubs, restaurants or shopping. I like going to the cinema. I like to go motorbike racing — that’s where I get my head space and what I most enjoy doing.
Who would you invite to your dream dinner party?
You’d want people who don’t get on because you’d want the drama, so — Shergar, the lad who kidnapped him, Paddy Power and a couple of GAA commentators to lighten the mood.
What’s your favourite smell?
The smell of a chipper — it’s the hardest thing in the world to resist.
When did you last cry?
Probably Italia ’90. Normally, I cry when something good has happened. If you ever see me crying on stage, it’ll have been a very good gig.
What would you change about your appearance?
I’d have one long arm with three elbows because I’m always dropping things and never getting them back.
What trait do you least like in others?
Greed is just horrible. I don’t like people who think only about money. I’ve learned in the last few years that you don’t really know someone until you’ve dealt with them around money.
What trait do you least like in yourself?
I wouldn’t mind being able to concentrate a bit more. I’m nearly 40 and I’m still like a kid with ADHD. I’m very easily distracted.
Do you pray?
No — I’m an atheist. I don’t really believe in anything at all. The more I hear about religion, the less sense it makes to me. All I’ve seen religion do is separate people.
What would cheer up your day?
I love spending time with my dog, Lilo, in the park or cycling to the top of one of the hills. I love being outdoors. I feel trapped inside.
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