On My Radar
Comedian Ed Byrne
Current favourite book
The Art and Craft of Wood by Silas J Kyler and David Hildreth, especially because I’m on tour at the moment so I have been fantasising about nesting at home. I own a bunch of DIY and carpentry books, but this one is my favourite at the moment because it’s also about foraging wood and how to turn a tree into usable timber. In my head, I’m planning to turn our house into some sort of Swiss chalet-cum-wood-panelled gentlemen’s club. In reality, I’ll probably just make a really shoddy picture frame and then move on to the next hobby.
I was hosting a comedy gala at the Leicester Comedy Festival last month and got to see a bunch of new and newish acts I’d never seen before. In a very strong, field the stand out for me was a musical double act called Flo and Joan. If you like Flight of the Conchords then you’ll like Flo and Joan.
I just spent a couple of really fun nights in Leeds. The venue I play there is called City Varieties and it’s a lovely old music hall. It’s where I filmed my first DVD. I’ve been there loads of times but only just discovered on the latest visit how many quality little boozers it has. The White Swan, Jake’s Bar, Whitelock’s – all really characterful little places.
Ted Danson has been absolutely killing it in The
Good Place. I grew up watching him in Cheers, loved him in Becker and now he’s doing what I think is the best role of his career. I love it when a familiar actor shines in a TV show during the latter part of their career, like Alec Baldwin in
30 Rock too. There’s a lot about The Good Place to recommend it but Ted Danson is top of that list.
Marc Maron’s WTF is a really good listen. Some episodes are better than others, and the ones where he’s interviewing comics are usually my favourites, but he interviews a massive range of people. You can’t really knock a lad who started doing a podcast out of his garage that then led to him getting his own sitcom on FX, then interviewing a sitting US president.
The Kestrel 3500 Pocket Weather station. I’m really into my hill walking. It started when I was at school in Swords. We had a teacher who was a mountain guide. Then I turned my back on it throughout my 20s before returning to it in my mid-30s. I have a bunch of gadgets for the outdoors: a food dehydrator, various GPS devices, but my favourite is the Kestrel. When you’re up high and the wind is blasting you in the face and your snot is freezing into stalactites, it’s fun to whip it out and find out exactly how fast the wind is, how cold it is and what the wind-chill is. It’s the perfect intersection of outdoorsiness and nerdiness.
I’m working my way through Altered Carbon right now. I say ‘working’ because I’m still not sure how much I’m enjoying it. Every now and again it has a quality, a balletic action sequence or a deep sci-fi concept, but so far it’s feeling like less than the sum of its parts. To be honest, it’s just filling the void left by Star Trek: Discovery.
I used to be a much greater film enthusiast than I am now. As the long-form storytelling of a really good TV show becomes more appealing, I watch fewer films. The last thing I really enjoyed was Blade Runner 2049. I think I was in just the right mood when I watched it, slightly hungover. The soundtrack and the visual effects made for an extremely immersive experience. Also, I haven’t enjoyed a stone-cold baddie so much in ages as Sylvia Hoeks.
Social media profile
For a nice intersection of sci-fi geekiness and pure juvenile humour I can heartily recommend Swear Trek (@Swear_Trek) It’s just gifs of scenes from Star Trek with rude subtitles. Utterly childish.
-In conversation with Shil pa Ga nat ra