Arts Q&A: Comedian Ruairi Woods on Peter Kay, Queen and Philip K Dick

Jenny Lee puts performers and artists on the spot about what really matters to them. This week, Strabane-born comedian Ruairi Woods

Strabane funnyman Ruairi Woods will be performing at this month's EastSide Arts Festival

1. When did you think about a career in comedy and what were your first steps into it? I had always thought about doing it, but it didn't manifest until I came to Belfast for university. After being dared multiple times by friends, I did a spot at an open mic at the Pavilion Bar Ormeau Road. I was extremely nervous, naturally, but at the same time I pondered why I didn't do it sooner. Since then it has all blown up and I've been fortunate enough to play alongside some big comedy names such as Kevin Bridges, Aisling Bea and Chris Ramsey. I've also played the Ulster Hall and was recently a panellist on The Blame Game. It's mad how things work out.

2. Best gigs you've been to? Comedy wise, I'd say Bill Burr at The Ulster Hall, Peter Kay in The Odyssey or Dylan Moran in The Waterfront. I also go to a lot of music gigs and those that stick out are Biffy Clyro at Belsonic, Rival Sons at The Limelight or And So I Watch You From Afar at the Mandela Hall.

3. Fantasy wedding/birthday party band? Queen, with guest appearances from David Bowie and Prince.

4. The record you'd take to a desert island? Songs for the Deaf by Queens of the Stone Age. It is one of the first albums I ever bought – every song offers something different. As an added bonus Dave Grohl plays drums on the album.

5. And the book? Philip K Dick's Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep, as it was the basis for Blade Runner.

6. Top three films? Big Trouble in Little China, Batman with Michael Keaton and Beverly Hills Cop.

7. Worst film you've seen? The remake of Ghostbusters. Very bland.

8. Favourite authors? Chuck Palahniuk, Philip K Dick and Stephen King.

9. Sport you most enjoy and top team? Snooker and football. I support Tottenham Hotspur (someone has to).

10. Ideal holiday destination? Mexico.

11. Pet hate? People who are loud in the cinema, queues, people who vape in my vicinity essentially blowing a mist that stinks of watermelon in my face.

12. What's your favourite:

Dinner? Nachos.

Dessert? Red Velvet cake.

Drink? Vanilla Coke.

13. Who is your best friend and how do you know each other? As cheesy as it is, my fiancé Lisa.

14. Is there a God? I'd say so. If there is, I would certainly question why he made me criminally ugly. Not impressed.

:: Ruairi Woods will perform at Strand Arts Centre, Belfast, on Friday August 10 as part of the EastSide Arts Festival. Tickets and full programme at

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