Life

Bagatelle's Ken Doyle: I'll rock till I drop – but hopefully that won't be any time soon

Gail Bell asks experts and people in the public eye what keeps them going. This week: veteran Irish rocker Ken Doyle, founder member of Bagatelle

Ken Doyle of Bagatelle – I am always inspired by people who make you feel better for having that two-minute chat
Gail Bell

1 Up and at it – what is your morning routine?

I usually wake at about 8am and turn on the radio to hear if we still have a world, while reading the paper (on my phone) at the same time. I don't say a prayer or do yoga, but I am extremely grateful to still be here and in good working order.

2 What might you eat in a typical working day for...

Breakfast? I usually start the day with freshly squeezed orange juice, half a lemon and ginger and coriander mixed together.

Lunch? Honeygar which is apple cider vinegar with raw honey – about an eggcup full in a mug of hot water and it tastes great. I have one of those bullet grinders and I grind oatmeal, sesame seeds, sunflower seeds, flax, pumpkin, Brazil nut, hazels, almonds, pecan, pistachios and walnuts into a coarse powder and then mix goji berries, strawberries, blueberries, blackberries, fresh mango, chia seed and banana, cinnamon and honey, water and organic milk. I will also toast a small cut of ciabatta bread and eat it with home-made tahini on one side and Dijon mustard, Parmesan cheese and avocado on the other. Delicious.

Evening meal? Anything spicy – curry, chilli, Bolognese, falafels – followed by a home-made cappuccino and a small square of 85 per cent chocolate. I always take a lecithin capsule whenever I eat.

3 Is nutrition important to you?

Yes, I like good quality food and I like to feel good after I have eaten. I very rarely have to use indigestion tablets, thankfully.

4 Best meal ever?

A really good curry – the best ones I have ever had have been in Manchester and Birmingham.

5 Do you have a guilty pleasure?

Banoffee pie.

6 Have you ever been on a diet? If so, how did it go?

I've never been on a diet.

7 Do you take health supplements?

I take cod liver oil, grape seed extract, kelp, lecithin and half an aspirin.

8 How do you relax?

I love to go hillwalking with my Jack Russell, Rosco, or ride my motorbike. I also love watching good TV documentaries and I do some microlight flying at Newtownards, Co Down.

9 Teetotal or tipple?

Tipple – good red wine is my poison of choice, as it is a perfect partner for spicy food. I would also indulge in a lager, craft beer or Guinness, depending on the mood.

10 Stairs or lift?

If I have bags in hotels I will usually take the lift, but I run down the stairs if there are just three or four flights.

11 Do you have a daily exercise regime?

Yes, I march up to the bottom of Bray Head with Rosco at great speed. I'll do 40 swings on each arm, 40 kicks on each leg, leg stretches and 20 up-and-down crouches.

12 Best tip for everyday fitness?

I would say consistency is key – if you do a small bit of exercise, but do it every day, and then add a little extra from time-to-time, you get your own regime up and running.

13 On a scale of one to 10, how fit do you think you are and how fit would you like to be? I would like to think I'm between a six and seven – depending on the day.

14 Have you tried, or would you try, alternative therapy?

No, but I would give it a try if I needed to and if I felt it would work.

15 Were school sports happy times or do you have a memory you would rather forget?

They were horrible times! It was a different world back then, where grown men threw man-sized punches at eight, nine and 10-year-olds. Not for me, thanks – get over it, get on with it and move on.

16 Did you ever have a health epiphany which made you change your lifestyle?

I had a bout of vertigo about eight years ago and it was an epiphany for me. I haven't changed my lifestyle, but I am so grateful it went away.

17 Best health/lifestyle advice you were ever given and would pass on to others?

You are what you eat – eat well and as close to the ground as possible.

18 Who inspires you or who would you try to emulate in terms of fitness / attitude to life?

So many people have inspired me over the years and still do – musicians, scientists, writers, poets, doctors, nurses. Positive people mainly inspire me and givers-of-life. I am always inspired by people who make you feel better for having that two-minute chat; the brief encounter after which, when you walk away, you have a smile on your face and a brief feeling that all is well with the world.

19 What time do you normally get to bed and do you get enough sleep?

When I am gigging, bedtime is between 1am and 2.30 but when I am at home, it's a bit earlier – any time between midnight to 1.30 am, depending on what's happening. Do I get enough sleep? No, never, but as a friend said recently, "With a lot of our peers passing, Doyler, you ll get plenty of sleep soon enough."

20 Would you say you have a healthy attitude towards your own mortality?

I don't remember coming into this world and I hope I won't remember leaving it. I love life and despise cruelty in any shape or form. Having been in a few Third World countries and witnessed the ravages of people who have absolutely nothing and yet manage a smile, I realise how lucky I am to have been born in this part of the world. I will rock till I drop – hopefully not too soon – but, if the axe fell in the morning, I would say 'Thanks' for the opportunity to experience life; it's been a blast...

:: Ken Doyle and Bagatelle will be playing Belfast's Ulster Hall on December 28 as part of their current Irish tour.

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