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No joke – I got paid in crisps and cola for my first job, says comedian Jason Byrne


Jason Byrne. Photo: Collins

Jason Byrne. Photo: Collins

Jason Byrne. Photo: Collins

COMEDIAN Jason Byrne may have a string of TV shows behind him but his very first payday resulted in a just packet of crisps and a Coke.

The funnyman has revealed that as a teen his first job was collecting trolleys in Superquinn in Balinteer.

Along with his pal he said he spent 12 hours collecting trolleys and was looking forward to some cash at the end of the day – but they were in for a surprise.

“We collected trolleys from 8am to 8pm and expected to earn £10-£20,” he recalled.

“When we were finished the man in charge says ‘right lads you can pick a packet of crisps and whatever soft drink you want’.

“We left with a packet of cheese and onion King and a super can of Coca-Cola, and never went back,” he continued.

Now that his days, or single day, of being paid in foodstuffs are behind him, the dad of two admitted that he worries about money “too much”.

“My mate PJ Gallagher, despite his stage fright, laughs at how worried I am about life and money,” he said.

Jason has racked up impressive TV credits with RTE and is set to return to UK screens in March, after the BBC axed his sitcom, Father Figure.

However, the precariousness of showbiz is never far from the 39-year-old’s mind.


“When you’re a family man you worry so much, especially in the comedy business when you know it can stop at any minute,” he pointed out.

“We make sure to have our fingers in everything such as radio and writing in case it does all end.”

His most extravagant purchase was a £400 designer bag for his wife which she returned for pyjamas.

“She opened it at Christmas, asked if it was real, and called me an eejit for spending so much on a bag,” he explained. 

“Before the recession we used to have loads of Christmas party gigs, and then there were no Christmas parties,” he said.

His new TV3 show Snaptastic sees him discuss embarrassing childhood photos with well-known faces such as George Hook and John Bishop.