On My Radar

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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

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