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Laurel and Hardy are Give My Head Peace man Damon Quinn's comedy heroes

Jenny Lee puts performers and artists on the spot about what really matters to them. This week: Give My Head Peace star Damon Quinn

Damon Quinn returns to our screens as Cal in the new series of Give My Head Peace

1. When did you think about a career in broadcasting and what were your first steps into it? I've always loved comedy and Stan and Ollie have always been my heroes and inspiration. I began writing and performing comedy sets in school shows. One of my comedy partners in those days was Jimmy Cricket's nephew and we once auditioned in front of Hughie Green. Hughie didn't like our act – he told us we were crap and he meant it "most sincerely".

2. Best gigs you’ve been to? It's hard to beat going to the Oscars in 2011. We were nominated for a short film I produced called The Crush. We didn't win but it was an incredible experience. I was amazed at how democratic it all was. We were given exactly the same time on the red carpet as the big Hollywood stars. At the Oscars lunch a few weeks earlier I found myself chatting to 'The Dude' Jeff Bridges. He didn't win either so we were in good company when the winners went to the Vanity Fair party and us losers had to slum it at the Governor's Ball.

3. Fantasy wedding/birthday party band? It would have to be the Rat Pack.

4. The record you’d take to a desert island? Gustav Holst's The Planets.

5. And the book? Nineteen Eighty-Four by George Orwell. I first read it when I was 14. Tells you everything you'll ever need to know about politics and the world we live in.

6. Top three films? The Godfather, Shadow of a Doubt and A Fistful of Dynamite.

7. Worst film you’ve seen and why? Star Wars: The Last Jedi. The Star Wars franchise has run and run and run... right out of ideas.

8. Favourite authors? George Orwell, Graham Greene and Martin Amis.

9. Sports you most enjoy and top team? I always loved tennis and used to play it. But I liked the old days with bad boys like Ilie Nastase, John McEnroe and Jimmy Connors. They've ruined the sport with those big headed racquets and the players are too nice to each other nowadays.

10. Ideal holiday destination? If I won the Lottery I'd travel the world by train and start with the Trans-Siberian Express.

11. Pet hate? People who photograph their dinner on their phones. What is that about?

12. What is your favourite:

Dinner? Duck with cherry sauce.

Dessert? A good cheese board.

Drink? Champagne and a good Calvados.

13. Who is your best friend and how do you know each other? My son Conal. I first met him when he was born 19 years ago and we've been best mates ever since.

14. Is there a God? For this question I must paraphrase one of my other comedy heroes, Dave Allen, who suggested that if there is a God then he felt sure he had a sense of humour, because if not then he (Dave) was in big trouble. I’m pretty sure Dave got into heaven.

:: As well as being one of the writers and the producer of Give My Head Peace, Damon Quinn plays the role of Cal in the show, which returns to BBC One Northern Ireland for a new three-part series tomorrow at 10.35pm.

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