Thursday 22 August 2019

The loves of my life: comedian Al Porter

Comedian Al Porter. Photo: David Conachy
Comedian Al Porter. Photo: David Conachy

Al Porter on the importance of his mam, whom he tests all his jokes out on, and why he loves his pink tie.

The person 

That's my mam, I tell you now, that has to be Mammy. She still does all the clothes, she does all the cooking and she's still the person I test out all my jokes on

The memory

Probably going to see La Cages aux Folles on Broadway over in New York when I was 14. I haven't been back to New York since, but I just remember that the spectacle of New York and the spectacle of Broadway really was the thing that made me fall in love with show business

The moment of the day

When the gig is done and I can go to the pub

The accessory

My best friend Nathan Beetley; he's my ultimate accessory. He's very cool and very hip, and he makes me look square by comparison, but I like having him around

The song

Make Someone Happy from the movie Sleepless in Seattle. I used to watch all those films, but I loved that song. It's really jazzy. It's Jimmy Durante, 'The Schnoz' they called him; he had a nose as big as mine. And the lyrics - Fame, if you win it/ comes and goes in a minute/ but where's the real stuff in life to cling to?/ Love is the answer. And that's true

The movie

It has to be As Good As It Gets with Jack Nicholson and Helen Hunt. My mam, nana and I have probably watched it 80 times. I love it

The beauty product

Probably Carmex. I know I wear a lot of make-up and foundation . . . you can always see the concrete cement mixer in my dressing room going before I plaster my face, but I love Carmex for your lips - it makes them very kissable

The hero

In a way, it's Frankie Howerd. He's my comedy hero. I have never met Frankie Howerd, all I know about him is the books I read, the memorabilia I've bought and the documentaries I've seen, but he went through so many ups and downs in his career. He had about five comebacks, starting when he was 20, all the way up to finishing when he was in his late 70s. I admire that; I always think of him

The book

Tuesdays with Morrie by Mitch Albom. In the book, a very elderly man tells all his wisdom to a young man. I could learn so much just by reading that book again

The friend

Stuart O'Connor. He gave me my first gig when I was 12 years old, and his family remain my family now. We run a business together and we're the best of friends

The outfit

The outfit I love the most is my pink tie. My production company is called Pink Tie Productions, and I have about 10 pink ties. Louis Copeland and I are thinking about starting up my own range of ties, I love them

The gadget

Any gadgets I have, have to be kept away in a secret drawer. I don't mind people knowing that

The pet hate

My pet hate is probably people who are always on time. I like being late . . . I am very suspicious of people who arrive on time

The holiday

A cruise that I go on every summer in June with 20 dancers, it's insane. We all work together throughout the year, and then we go and have a big blowout

The drink

I'll say lager because I love it, but they're all my children

The piece of advice

There are two. "Always try your best." It's what my mam and dad would always say. What is the point in doing something if you don't do it to the best of your ability? The other one is, "Always be nice to the waiter". Because somebody who is nice to you and not nice to the waiter, is not a nice person

The hotel

The Powerscourt Hotel. I love the spa. They do good towel turbans; they make me look very exotic

The bar

I never drink anywhere I like too much . . . because I might get barred

The hobby

Falling in love

The part of my body Probably the oul' hair. I like my slicked-back hair

The virtue

My greatest virtue is my honesty about my vices.

The vice

The worst thing about me - I probably make the same mistake twice

The celebrity

Carol Vorderman. She still Twitter-messages me all the time; she's very supportive. I've had sex dreams about her

The smell

I love the smell of cinnamon, but I also love the damp, musky smell of the Olympia Theatre

The taste

I love the taste of Mammy's shepherd's pie . . . but revenge is a close second

Al Porter stars as Polly in Christmas Panto 'The Ugly Sisters & Yer Wan! - The Story of Cinderella', showing at The Olympia Theatre from December 16 until January 8. Tickets, from €26, to book, tel: (0818) 719-300, or see

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