Wednesday 22 January 2020

Deciding to be a comedian was this Bridget & Eamon actress' biggest financial mistake

My Money

Sitcom: Bridget and Eamon
Sitcom: Bridget and Eamon Business Desk

Sharon Mannion is an actress, comedian and writer best known for her role as Concepta in the RTE2 hit comedy Bridget & Eamon.

She has co-written several contributions for RTE's Republic of Telly and she has also written and performed alongside PJ Gallagher in the hidden-camera series Trojan Donkey for Channel 4.

Sharon will perform in The Laughter Lab on July 27 as part of the Vodafone Comedy Festival. For more information on the festival, which runs from July 26 to 28, visit

What's the most important lesson about money which your career as a comedian has taught you?

Actress Sharon Mannion
Actress Sharon Mannion

If you can, save. There will be lean spells and they're much easier to handle if you have a few quid in the bank to tide you over.

What's the most expensive country you ever visited?

Probably Switzerland. I did some gigs in Zurich and at first got very excited at my fee, until I went for lunch in the equivalent of a Cafe Kylemore and paid about €70 for the privilege.

What's your favourite Irish coin?

I like the old Irish pound coin. I still remember the excitement when it came in, and I remember my Auntie Bridie used to sellotape a few to the inside of my birthday cards.

Apart from property, what's the most expensive thing you have ever bought?

A car. I'm not one for spending big money on 'things'. I prefer to spend my money on holidays and experiences. My wedding in Portugal and honeymoon in Australia and New Zealand are definitely up there as the most pricey.

What was your worst job?

Working in a chicken factory after my Leaving Cert. Eight hours a day scraping the fat off chicken breasts is pretty bleak.

What was your biggest financial mistake?

Deciding to be an actress and comedian. It was the best decision in other ways though.

What was your best financial killing?

I got a nice voiceover gig for a couple of years that came at a great time as I was just having my first child. I'll always be grateful for that one.

Are you better off than your parents?

Sometimes yes, sometimes no! My parents instilled in us a healthy attitude towards money. We were taught to never place too much importance on it. My dad is self-employed too, and I don't know if I could have ever made the decision to be a performer if they hadn't shown me there are more things to life than being rich.

If you won the Euromillions, what would you do with the money?

Throw a big party, bring family and friends on a fancy holiday, and then buy property in Portugal, New York and Roscommon.

Have you ever made an insurance claim?

Yes - six weeks after our wedding, the house we were renting was destroyed in a house fire.

It was very stressful at the time but things have a way of working out and we eventually moved to a place with cheaper rent which enabled us to save up a deposit for our house.

What was the last thing you bought online?

Flights to Amsterdam for my husband's 40th.

Would you buy Irish property now?

My husband and I bought a house last year.

I don't think it necessarily was or is the best time to buy but in our individual circumstance we felt we had to. We're not getting any younger so if we left it much longer, we'd struggle to get a mortgage. We were renting a two-bed apartment with two small kids - we'd struggle to pay rent on a three-bed house so it was the best option for us and we're delighted.

Do you ever haggle?

I did manage to haggle on some kitchen furniture recently. I don't know what came over me. My husband was with me and didn't know what was happening. We were in full-on house mode at the time so it must have been stress. Normally I'm useless.

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