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Arts Q&A: Belfast comedian Teresa Livingstone on Take That, Tina Fey and Brian Regan

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

Teresa Livingstone will be performing her one woman show, Class, at the Waterfront Hall Studio on Saturday October 8.

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

I never thought of comedy as a career but always loved going to see live comedy. I tiptoed into it in 2013 through comedy improvisation classes at the Crescent Arts Centre in Belfast. I loved making people laugh and it gave me the confidence to try putting together the two things I love the most – music and comedy. I started writing material and performing at open mics and it just grew from there.

2. Best gigs you've been to?

I'm a massive fan of Flight of the Conchords and saw them for the first time in the Glasgow SSE Hydro in 2011. U2 at Botanic Park, Belfast in 1997 - my sisters and I only got tickets an hour before the gig and I still remember how exciting it was to see such a huge band just around the corner from our house. Take That in the King's Hall, Belfast in 1993 - my friend and I made a banner on a sheet that read 'Take That Take Us!'.

Sadly her dog walked all over it while the paint was drying so it looked more like 'Take That Jesus!' Being the professionals they are, Take That didn't let it distract their performance and we spent the night screaming over every song like maniacs.

3. Fantasy wedding/birthday party band?

Lizzo - she'd blow the roof of the place.

4. The record you would take to a desert island?

This is too hard. If forced to choose I would take either Tori Amos's Earthquakes which was the first album I loved and still do. Or any comedy album by the comedian Brian Regan - I can't listen to him without crying with laughter.

5. And the book you would bring to a desert island?

Tina Fey's autobiography Bossypants - she's my idol.

6. Top three films?

Heat, This is Spinal Tap and The Three Amigos. I could watch these three films on repeat and never get tired of them.

7. Worst film you've seen?

I love a film that's so bad it's good and would happily watch one to laugh at, however the 2010 romantic comedy Valentine's Day was so bad I wanted to cry. It's the only time in my life I have left the cinema before the end of a film. I felt like a hero and then realised no-one neither noticed nor cared that I was leaving.

8. Favourite authors?

Roald Dahl, as I loved everything he wrote when I was little; Jonathan Kellerman, as I love a good grisly murder thriller; and Marian Keyes, as I want her to be my friend.

9. Sports you most enjoy?

Sports I 'enjoy' are those I can watch whilst eating and/or drinking. If it's on in the pub with a barbecue, drinks promotions and I can get a seat, then I'm on board.

10. Ideal holiday destination?

Sydney to see my sister Shauna and my hilarious niece and nephews Ciara, Ryan and Danny.

11. Pet hates?

Being talked over. It's probably why I like the idea of having a mic on stage so much.

12. What's your favourite:

Dinner? Gin.

Dessert? Tonic.

Drink? Gin and Tonic.

13. Who is your best friend and how do you know each other?

He's a young blond fella called Riley. He knows me as the lady who feeds him, walks him and occasionally begs to stop chewing my clothes. I know him as my Labrador pup who has ruined the house but stolen my heart.

14. Is there a God?

Probably.

:: Teresa Livingstone will be performing her one woman show, Class, at the Waterfront Hall Studio on Saturday October 8. Tickets from Waterfront.co.uk.

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