Arts Q&A: Comedian Colin Murphy on Pulp, Stiff Little Fingers and water polo

Jenny Lee puts performers and artists on the spot about what really matters to them. This week, comedian Colin Murphy

Co Down comedian Colin Murphy has returned to Radio Ulster with a new series of topical comedy panel show The Blame Game

1. When did you think about a career in comedy and what were your first steps into it?

It just happened. I fell in with a bad crowd. I entered an improv competition by accident and won. Off the back of that I ended up acting in theatre. Then a guy I knew needed a compere for a comedy gig, I said yes and that was that.

2. Best gigs you’ve been to?

Desmond Dekker and the Aces at the Art College, Belfast – in 1990, I think. I was at the art college and wandered into the gig by accident. I also have fond memories of Stiff Little Fingers, Ulster Hall, in February 1982. I was 13 years old and it was so loud my young ears rang for three days solid.

3. Fantasy wedding/birthday party band?

The band aren’t the issue, it’s the guests that ruin wedding bands with their stupid Ed Sheeran requests. Or those 'classy' weddings with a jazz band. Sorry, but your guests hate you. I’d have Pulp and only invite guests that like Pulp.

4. The record you’d take to a desert island and why?

A long distance swimming record.

5. And the book?

In case the swimming doesn’t work out, a book on how to survive on a desert island.

6. Top three films?

The Three Amigos, Three Colours Red and The Three Musketeers.

7. Worst film you’ve seen and why?

There are too many. Too many movies now are like watching a CGI version of the inside of a small boy’s head when he’s playing cars in his bedroom. The scripts for these movies must be three pages long.

8. Favourite authors?

Donna Tartt, Jonathan Coe, PG Wodehouse and far too much crime stuff.

9. Sport you most enjoy and top team?

I have an aversion to sport. In saying that, I’m running the Belfast half marathon in September. Both of our sons play water polo, so I’ve probably seen more of that than any other sport. It’s very exciting and doesn’t involve horses, despite what an alarming number of people think.

10. Ideal holiday destination?

By the sea, away from people, near food, with sunny weather, but not too hot.

11. Pet hate?

You don’t have space.

12. What’s your favourite:

Dinner? A bit of fish, roasted and stuffed. Nothing fussy.

Dessert? Anything really.

Drink? Red wine at home, beer after swimming in the sea and tea all the time.

14. Is there a God?


:: Colin Murphy is one of the panellists on The Blame Game on Fridays, BBC One NI at 10.35pm, and on Saturdays on BBC Radio Ulster at 10.30am.

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