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'The fastest and funniest guy you could ever meet'

RTE's Dave Fanning has paid tribute to the late Robin Williams as the "fastest, funniest guy you could ever meet".

The broadcaster met him on two separate occasions in New York 
and London as he interviewed him for his RTE programme The Movie 

And he revealed how he was blown away by Williams' frenetic energy and comic abilities after meeting him to promote movies Awakenings and Jacob the Liar.

"Put it this way - he is not the kind of guy that I would want to share a flat with, he was very manic," he said.

"One thing that struck me was that he really was brilliant at improvisation and he could talk about a jug on a table for 20 minutes and just be able to make it up as he went along.

"He was also very good at mimicking accents. He was very funny. Maybe that was all a mask, that he wasn't really a happy person underneath it all."


Fanning also said he shared a common trait with the tragic actor, namely their fast-talking manner.

"Pat Kenny had me on the radio this morning and said I was probably the only guy who speaks faster than Robin does," he said.

He said it's now apparent that beneath the funnyman facade Williams was battling some serious demons.

"He was part of the whole Jon Belushi set. There were major cocaine and alcohol addictions there," he said.

"Williams was also diagnosed as being bipolar, he was married three times - he married his nanny at one stage. There was a lot going on with him. I was shocked when I heard the news."

Beauty writer Triona McCarthy also met the famous actor during a trip to Dublin during the 1990s and said he "couldn't have been nicer".

She was working in Brown Thomas at the time as a fashion buyer and bumped into him while he was shopping with his second wife, Marsha Garces, and their two daughters.

"The reason I started talking to him was that he looked like my dad so I thought I knew him," said Triona.

"Then I went, 'Oh my God, you're Robin Williams, what are you doing here?' I think he was a bit bored going around shopping with the wife so he started talking to me.

"He was doing all these different accents and started doing an impersonation of a leprechaun. Even 
though he was this big Hollywood film star, he was also just like an ordinary regular guy."