CREDO Ed Byrne talks to SF about the Glaswe­gian roots of his ca­reer and killing squir­rels

Ir­ish funny man Ed Byrne has Glas­gow to thank for a ca­reer in com­edy and a pas­sion for hag­gis pakora

Scottish Field - - CONTENTS -

I was a bit of a swot at school.

It wasn’t un­til I went to univer­sity that my head was turned and I re­alised that academia was not for me. Be­ing in Glas­gow didn’t help.

I lived all over Glas­gow when I was a stu­dent.

I stud­ied hor­ti­cul­ture at the Univer­sity of Strath­clyde. My gar­den is lovely, but that’s noth­ing to do with me.

I got started in com­edy be­cause a friend told me I was funny.

I was work­ing in the stu­dent union at Strath­clyde Uni and my friend Chris wrote down some things I’d said in meet­ings. He told me he thought I should be a co­me­dian.

At the time there wasn’t any­where to play in Glas­gow, so I opened my own com­edy club which ran for a few months on Glass­ford Street. I had Ford Kier­nan and Greg Hem­pill play.

I’m wor­ried that I’ve been dragged into a mid­dle class life.

All my friends are mid­dle-class and I feel deeply un­com­fort­able about the fact that I can’t re­mem­ber the last time I went into a kitchen that didn’t have let­ters above the oven spell­ing out the word ‘cook’. What has hap­pened to the mid­dle-classes, why do they need in­struc­tions on how to use ev­ery room? We rented a cot­tage in Corn­wall (be­cause, again, I’m so mid­dle-class these days) and in ev­ery room there were in­struc­tions on the wall; love in the bed­room, re­lax in the liv­ing room and bake in the kitchen. I wanted to buy let­ters and put the word ‘shit’ above the loo.

I like a bit of hag­gis.

Es­pe­cially the hag­gis pakora that you can only find in cer­tain ar­eas of Glas­gow. It’s not the weird­est thing I’ve eaten. I once ate horse in Rus­sia. I know most of us have prob­a­bly eaten horse with­out know­ing it, but when it’s served rare and cold chow­ing down on a horse is a bit weird.

I’m into the out­doors and hill walk to re­lax.

I’ve bagged 105 Mun­ros so far and plan to do them all. I lost my glasses up the last one, so if any­one finds a pair of Em­po­rio Ar­mani glasses in a ravine then they’re mine. I’ve also started do­ing a bit of wood­work. I’ve been in the process of build­ing a tree­house for my chil­dren for quite some time. It’s very high, so it gives you the willies when you go up. I’ve al­ready stranded my­self up there when a branch knocked over my lad­der.

My guilty plea­sure is eat­ing squir­rels.

I know that when peo­ple tell you their guilty plea­sures they’re not usu­ally re­ally that bad, but I once killed a grey squir­rel that was on my bird feeder then I cooked it and ate it. My wife was hor­ri­fied, but I used a recipe from a book that she had bought me.

I have a cat called Shad­well.

He’s proof that we are nicer to an­i­mals than to peo­ple. We found him look­ing hun­gry by our bin, so he came to live with us. That was nine years ago. You would never do that for a per­son, would you?

My great­est achieve­ment was pur­su­ing a ca­reer in com­edy.

I just upped and went to Lon­don. I didn’t know any­one and I signed on the dole and played for free for a year be­fore I could make a liv­ing out of it. I look back and think that I must have had real balls, I can’t be­lieve I did it. I would never do it now, that’s the ar­ro­gance of youth.

Ed will play the Big Burns Sup­per in Dum­fries on 1 Fe­bru­ary 2019. big­burnssup­per.com

‘My guilty plea­sure is eat­ing squir­rels’

ED BYRNE

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