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Angeline Ball, singer and actress When I was 21, I wish I'd known...


Angeline Ball's Home Cook's Academy on TV3

Angeline Ball's Home Cook's Academy on TV3

Angeline Ball in The Commitments

Angeline Ball in The Commitments


Angeline Ball's Home Cook's Academy on TV3

That dancers are the lowest paid and hardest worked, or in those days they were anyway. I started off as a dancer. I wanted to sing and I saw it as a progression.

I was doing the Clontarf Castle cabaret warm-up for Brendan Grace and Dickie Rock and then I was in the Sunday Night at the Gaeity chorus.

... To be careful what you wish for.

The Commitments was a means of making something of myself and earning some money but I think what you don't realise is that something like that is a very unsteady platform. Fame is not all it's cut out to be. I think, foolishly, I wanted to be famous or like Kylie Minogue. I had visions of appearing on Top Of The Pops. I remember dancing in the pantomime and I'd been signed to a record label on a retainer and so all this stuff was going on in the background. It was all very exciting. I thought the possibilities were endless.

... That all the unattainable things, and all that glitters, are not gold.

I saw singing and dancing as a means to an end. I'm working-class from Cabra. There wasn't any X Factor, or Big Brother, nothing you could be catapulted out of. You had to work hard and learn your craft.

... To not stress the small stuff.

I got my first car at 18 and drove myself to gigs. I was on Dolphin's Barn bridge one evening and there was a spate of robberies where people would smash the windscreen and rob your bag. A hand came in and stole my bag, which had all my costumes for that night in it. I remember saying: "Please, just give me my costumes". I had to go on stage in my ordinary clothes that night.

... To take care of yourself mind, body and spirit.

... To care less of what people think.

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That's something I try to carry on now. I'm 46 and I have relaxed a hell of a lot. As long as you're not hurting someone or being rude, you really shouldn't care what other people think of you, which is strange in my career. You're up for criticism and speculation but in my private life I march to the beat of my own drum.

... Carpe Diem.

I was 12 when my dad died. It had a major impact on my life. You can't change it. I matured quite quickly and it's a hell of a lesson to have about life. It makes you very aware of your mortality I think. Even now, whatever work I accept I only do it if it pleases me.

... The Commitments will haunt me for the rest of my life. I looked at a clip recently and I was thinking "Oh my God, I was a baby". I couldn't get over the hair - it was huge!

The Commitments changed my life. It was brilliant for me. We worked very hard. Had I known then what I know now, things would be different. I got to see the world and stay in fantastic hotels, and meet amazing people. It tapped into my understanding of my ability, and when you focus and want something and you go after something in a joyous way it can be wonderful, and great, and challenging. It gives you a design for life or a reason for living. I'm so glad they picked me.

Angeline's Home Cooks airs on TV3, Thursdays at 8.30pm.

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