Paper Prophet: Gary Lydon (Actor)
Has the recession forced you to cut back on any spending?
I eat out a lot less and I've also cut back on the cinema and general socialising.
What three things would you not be able to do without if you were tightening your belt?
Holidays for my children, a decent pair of trainers, and my Sky Plus subscription.
Do you know what your house is worth?
Not really -- but I know it's worth less than I paid for it.
Do you still tip?
If the service was good, I would feel obliged to.
What's the most extravagant thing you bought in the boom years?
A luxury holiday to the Amalfi Coast.
Do you trust the banks?
Is that a trick question? I think that they, among others, have brought disgrace on this nation and the main players should be in jail. I don't see anything changing with a new government. It is clear that the banks "misrepresented the facts" on the night of the government bank guarantee in order to save themselves. No, I don't trust the banks.
What product do you find yourself buying a cheaper version of when shopping?
I buy own-brand bread and bottled water. It's great -- and it keeps the weight down.
What car do you drive, and how much does it cost to fill up the petrol tank?
A Ford Focus, which costs around €50 to fill up.
What was your first job and salary?
I think it was when our window cleaner offered me a summer job down in Wexford when I was about 14. He let me have one third of all takings, which worked out at about £20 a week. He was a good bloke.
What would you like to achieve in business/work this year?
I'd like to be involved in something that would either raise the morale of the people who saw it or that would add to the fabric of Irish society. We need political movement through the arts.
Do you have any family connection with business?
No, not really.
Which businessman or woman do you most admire?
Wexford's Mick Wallace is a good character.
What was your best investment?
Buying a flat in London when I lived there. It's since been sold.
What's the biggest financial mistake you ever made?
Buying a house in 2007 in Roscommon.
Have you switched your bank or moved your mortgage in the last couple of years?
If you won the Euromillions jackpot, what would you do with the money?
I'd go and live somewhere hot for the rest of my days.
What have you got in your wallet today?
Sixty euro, a few receipts, credit and bank cards -- as well as the production dates for Lay Me Down Softly.
If you could design your own euro note, whose face would you put on it?
What was the last thing you bought?
Bread and water.
What's the worst rip-off you've ever come across?
Taxpayers being fleeced for bankers' gambling debts -- and the perpetrators going around as if nothing has happened.
What would you spend more money on each year, petrol or restaurants?
Have you ever been overcharged by a bank?
Yes -- for a few foreign transactions.
Have you ever made an insurance claim?
No, touch wood.
Did an ATM machine ever swallow your card?
No -- not yet anyway!
Gary Lydon plays Theo, a violent ringmaster, in 'Lay Me Down Softly', at Dublin's Project Arts Centre from Tuesday, March 8 until Saturday, April 2. The play tells the story of a travelling road show and its boxing booth. For more info, www.projectartscentre.ie
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