Wednesday 28 September 2016

Comedian Al Porter tells Leaving Certs: 'I got 580 points but academia wasn’t for me... I vowed never to sit an exam again'

Geraldine Gittens

Published 17/08/2016 | 10:16

Al Porter at House in Dublin. Photo: Gerry Mooney.
Al Porter at House in Dublin. Photo: Gerry Mooney.
Al Porter

Irish comedian and 2fm DJ Al Porter has advised Leaving Cert students collecting their results today not to be afraid to take the road less travelled in life.

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The Dubliner (23) described the Leaving Cert points race as a "broken system", and though he excelled, he said he soon knew that academia wasn’t for him.

“It’s nonsense. I managed to get 580 points (years of theatre as a kid meant I was used to memorising lines) but the route I chose was entirely wrong,” he wrote in his column in today's Irish Daily Star.

“I thought getting 580 meant going to the ‘best university’ and so I went to Trinity. I’d never even visited the place. I decided to do English and philosophy (or put simply, nothing), despite never having been much of a reader. My time there (about eight days spread over four months) was miserable.”

“Academia wasn’t for me – summed up by the fact I was kicked out of the library twice for dancing. I was a performer but nobody encouraged me to go with my gut. I dropped out, wasted my parents’ money but thankfully had their support to follow my dream.”

The comedian, who is taking over from his close pal Colm Hayes at 2FM, describes the Leaving Cert as an "unfair memory test".

"This unfair memory test is right up there with downing your first pint, shifting your first minger and losing your virginity in a field," he joked.

"Once I got my results, I vowed never to sit an exam again."

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