Monday 16 September 2019

'I was told by someone high up in RTE that I didn't have a career in telly' - Baz Ashmawy

Baz Ashmawy on The Ray D'Arcy show. Photo: RTE
Baz Ashmawy on The Ray D'Arcy show. Photo: RTE
Melanie Finn

Melanie Finn

RTE's Baz Ashmawy has revealed how he was once told by an RTE executive how he no longer had a future career in TV.

The Emmy-winning star (44) has opened up about his colourful career and how he made an inspiring comeback after being let go from his 2fm radio show back in June 2012.

"I was done, finished. I was told by someone high up in RTE that I didn't have a career in telly," he said.

"I respected that person and wasn't angry about what he said. But I had been doing this for years at that stage and didn't know anything else.

Award Winners for Non-Scripted Entertainment for
Award Winners for Non-Scripted Entertainment for "50 Ways To Kill Your Mammy" Baz Ashmawy, Executive Producer

"It was also what I loved and I believed I was really good at it. So I went from there to 18 months later standing on a stage in New York holding an Emmy thinking, 'How the hell did that happen?'

"It was pure piggery, determination and the rest. I was helped by so many people but that last bit, that last 500 yards, that's all on your own."

Wingman: Jimmy Byrne and Baz Ashmawy, RTE One, Sunday April 28, 9.30pm
Wingman: Jimmy Byrne and Baz Ashmawy, RTE One, Sunday April 28, 9.30pm

In his mid-30's, he also underwent double lung surgery and told the RTE Guide that he "almost died."

"I looked at the world a little differently after that. Up to that stage, I felt invincible," he said.

"I was about 35 or 36 or so and had done 'How Low' for a few years and had jumped off stuff and swam with sharks and rode bulls and all of a sudden, you realise you're not indestructible, that you could have died."

He's now working on a new TV show 'Wingman', which sees him helping ordinary people to take on dream projects and will air for the first time this Sunday, April 28.

Viewers will watch people achieve things they never thought they were capable of. He describes it as "the toughest thing I've ever committed to" and said it was a very intense programme to make.

But despite all his success, he says that he still has many moments of self-doubt.

Wingman airs on RTE One on Sunday, April 28, at 9.30pm

Herald

Editors Choice

Also in Entertainment

Back to top