Storm in a teacup

Irish Examiner - Feelgood - - Niall Morris | The Shape I’m In -

THOUGH oth­er­wise in rude health, singer/pro­ducer Niall Mor­ris was wor­ried when he re­cently de­vel­oped an ir­reg­u­lar heart beat. “It con­cerned me enough to go to the Mater Pri­vate and have a to­tal checkup,” says the for­mer Celtic Tenor.

“They gave me a 24-hour mon­i­tor and did an echocar­dio­gram and an ECG. Then I had to go back in and have my con­sul­ta­tion with the con­sul­tant.”

He was told the mon­i­tor had recorded 700 ir­reg­u­lar heart beats out of 120,000 heart beats in the pre­vi­ous 24 hours.

“He said, ‘There is noth­ing wrong with you at all. Your heart is per­fect. You’re very fit’.”

It was only then Niall thought of his caf­feine habit. “I said, ‘Maybe it’s be­cause in the morn­ing I have three cups of tea. And he said, ‘Yes, it could be that’.”

The next morn­ing he drank a glass of wa­ter in­stead of his reg­u­lar triple brew. “I waited and there was no ir­reg­u­lar heart beat, no bumps, no skips. It was the caf­feine.”

Liv­ing in the vi­brant Grand Canal Dock, Niall and his Thai part­ner, Woody, have a civil part­ner­ship: “We didn’t do the up­grade. We’ll get around to it at some point.”

Hal­lelu­jah, an evening of in­spi­ra­tional mu­sic, the Na­tional Con­cert Hall, Satur­day, June 24, www.nch.ie

IWhat shape are you in? I’m in quite good shape. I try to look af­ter my­self and go to the gym fairly reg­u­larly. It gets a lit­tle harder as you get older so you just have to mon­i­tor things. The gym is across the road from where I live which sounds re­ally good but it’s pos­si­ble to just keep putting it off. I like to do a lot of car­dio and some light weights.

What are your health­i­est eat­ing habits?

I go through pe­ri­ods of be­ing re­ally healthy. I make things in ad­vance and put them into the fridge — veg­eta­bles and lots of fish. I try to steer clear of carbs. My hus­band is from Thai­land and is an amaz­ing cook but I tend to avoid the rice. I nearly al­ways start the day with eggs and veg­eta­bles — like an omelette.

What is your guilti­est plea­sure?

A few glasses of wine. Rioja’s fab­u­lous. When you are 19 or 20 you can process it re­ally well. As you get a bit older it’s harder.

What would keep you awake at night?

Caf­feine. Watch­ing TV in bed. I’m not a great sleeper. I go through pe­ri­ods of in­som­nia which can last for a cou­ple of weeks. They are prob­a­bly re­lated to wor­ry­ing about a show com­ing up. Be­cause I’m the pro­ducer of the show ul­ti­mately I feel re­spon­si­ble for ev­ery­one. How do you re­lax? I live close to the Pool­beg Light­house which is down at Ringsend. It’s a good long walk, straight out. I go there reg­u­larly with my friend, co­me­dian Kather­ine Lynch. We al­ways end up chat­ting to peo­ple. It’s a very friendly place. Who would you in­vite to your dream din­ner party? It would be fan­tas­tic to have Maria Cal­las — I have a bit of an ob­ses­sion with her — and Jackie Kennedy. Af­ter that, Ru­dolf Nureyev and maybe Au­drey Hep­burn. What’s your favourite smell? The smell of in­cense in church al­ways brings me right back to when I was head boy in St Bartholomew’s on Clyde Road. We used to sing every Sun­day and there was al­ways in­cense at the morn­ing Mass.

What would you like to change about your ap­pear­ance?

I would love to be a bit taller, please. I’m 5ft 9in. I’d like to be 6ft 1in be­cause you can wear these lovely Ital­ian cut suits. And more hair.

When is the last time you cried?

I’m work­ing on the Hal­lelu­jah show — I put to­gether the whole pro­gramme of mu­sic. A lot of it re­minds me of when I was singing these pieces as a lit­tle boy. There’s one piece of mu­sic from Gabriel Fauré’s Re­quiem — when I lis­tened to it re­cently I was so moved. I had a lit­tle cry. It’s the an­gelic boys’ voices — so in­no­cent.

What traits do you least like in others?

I’ve no­ticed peo­ple have be­come very im­pa­tient and in­tol­er­ant. Par­tic­u­larly when driv­ing.

What traits do you least like about your­self?

I’m prob­a­bly a bit im­pul­sive. I’ve learned to wait — in­stead of re­act­ing and do­ing some­thing on the spur of the mo­ment. Do you pray? I do. I might go into a church and pray if I was pass­ing by. I think that churches are won­der­ful. I am al­ways amazed by the ar­chi­tec­ture and the si­lence — the peace.

What would cheer up your day?

I love to meet up with my mum. And if Lyric FM rang me and asked: ‘Would you host your own show?’. Irene Feighan

“I have learned to wait in­stead of re­act­ing”

FINE FORM: Niall Mor­ris en­joys walk­ing to Pool­beg Light­house and goes to the gym reg­u­larly.

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