Weekend Q&A: Conor Grimes on History of the Troubles, Daniel Craig and Sunday roasts

Conor Grimes (54) is an actor, half of the celebrated Grimes and McKee brand and co-writer of The History of The Troubles (Accordin' To My Da), which finishes tonight at The Millennium Forum in Derry

Conor Grimes (far right) and co in The History of The Troubles (Accordin' To My Da)
Conor Grimes (far right) and co in The History of The Troubles (Accordin' To My Da)

HOW do you unwind at the weekend?

I don't when I am working and it's a very satisfying feeling being in a show. We've toured the updated History of the Troubles which is a three-way mix, written by Martin Lynch, who had the original idea, me and Alan McKee.

It's 20 years since it started and I'm in it, playing Fireball. It's been successful, a cash cow, and we had to stop after five years as it kind of took over and we wanted to do other projects. When I relax, it's through music. I have 1,005 songs on Spotify, ranging from my favourite singer, Pavarotti (but not Nessun Dorma) to early Madonna, and I'm a fan of Amy Winehouse.

What do you recall about weekends growing up?

I grew up in Donaghmore, where I still live. From 14, I was acting, and I trained with the National Youth Theatre in London. I was in the same intake as Daniel Craig, who's one of my good friends. He was hyper, a simmering cauldron of energy.

Funnily enough, I was a straight actor first, and played Thomas Becket in Murder in the Cathedral. We toured it to Europe. But my facial expressions geared me towards comedy and I was also the Artful Dodger. I always got into trouble with the priest when I was an altar boy because of it.

Apart from acting, weekends were family time.

Conor Grimes
Conor Grimes

Is there a must-listen weekend radio programme or podcast?

Not into podcasts but I do like BBC 6Music, the Guy Garvey programme. And of course Cerys Matthews.

Do you have a must-watch TV programme or Netflix?

I watch documentaries on iPlayer, currently The History of Hip Hop.

Is Sunday still special?

Yes, I was brought up going to Mass and would still go. It's a family day, we used to visit grandmas and grandas, whether they wanted us to or not. We continue that tradition and the traditional roast dinner with my wife and sons. It's a nice day.

Have you a favourite eatery or is it a takeaway?

We're lucky to have The Brewer's House, a gastro pub, the sort of place you don't have to think about quality. Their fish supper is the best and I really like their sea bass.

How do you feel on Sunday night about Monday morning?

I absolutely love that Sunday evening wind-down and listening to music with a wee glass of wine. It is the completion of the week.

:: The History of the Troubles (According To My Da) is on tonight at the Millennium Forum, Derry. Tickets via