Neil for Arts Centre in April – with new show!
Renowned for his virtuosity as a talented comedian, radio broadcaster, TV presenter and writer of IFTA award-winning programmes featuring such subjects as St. Patrick, the Vikings and a four-part series, Holding out for a Hero…among others, Offaly man Neil Delamere is also a humane animal lover, a devoted son, a loving husband and an absolute gentleman.
I was delighted to catch up with one of Ireland’s most in-demand entertainers, especially as he’s so busy touring with his hugely successful 50-date show, Butch Cassidy & the Sundance Pensioner. And, as Neil’s preparing to go head to head with Rossie audiences this spring, appearing at the Roscommon Arts Centre on the 14th of April, I wanted to find out what fans (and readers) could expect.
Now, as we all know, every talented performer has his/her own inspirations for creating a body of work – in this instance it was Neil’s beloved dad who motivated him.
“The show represents two people out on an adventure. Dad is 82 and he was doing meals on wheels and he asked me to help him; and so the show is all about what happened next. Before we went out, he explained to me that it wasn’t just about delivering meals, it was about chatting with people and taking our time. However, when we got to the fourth house, dad got a tip for a horse and we had to rush through the rest of the deliveries so we could finish up in time for the race,” laughs Neil.
Now despite the fact that the show’s narrative is based around the close-knit father/son relationship, Neil’s dad has yet to see it live.
“Dad is enjoying the idea but he hasn’t seen it (the show) yet. He’ll probably see it in Tullamore” explains Neil who is also in the middle of flexing his acting muscles, telling me “I’ve got a Mockumentary coming up…it’s all a bit top secret at the moment though, but I’ll let you know when I can announce it. It’s for the BBC in the North and it’s my first foray into the acting world because I’ve done documentaries and panels shows, but acting is one of the few things I haven’t tried”.
Something else the versatile Neil hasn’t tried is Dancing with the Stars, although he does watch it and enjoys it and says if he was asked to appear on the hit show he “wouldn’t rule it out”.
“From what I’ve seen it seems like great fun. I’ve always been lucky enough to do things that interest me”.
On a more personal level, something, (or someone), that’s close to Neil’s heart is his dearly departed rescue Lurcher, Charlie.
“He was great. We fostered him and then we adopted him from A Dog’s Life rescue, but sadly he got cancer and he died. I’m minding two dogs at the moment and I would consider adopting another dog from a shelter. I’d get a Lurcher. They’re wonderful; so calm. A dog is great company for someone who works late and comes home late; in fact they’re great companions for comedians.
“A dog will sit up watching telly with you when you come in at all hours after a gig and keep you company,” says the skilled broadcaster who hosts his own two-hour radio show, ‘Neil Delamere’s Sunday Best’ on Today FM.
“The show’s a mix of everything. It’s great to read something in the papers during the week and think, oh I’d like to discuss that on Sunday”.
However, despite delivering critically acclaimed comedy shows across Ireland, the Edinburgh Fringe Festival and as far-flung as the Montreal Just for Laughs Festival, to name but a few, Neil says he loves coming back and performing at the Roscommon Arts Centre; especially given the strong and favourable audience reaction to his unique, razor-sharp brand of humour, saying “within the counties of the Republic of Ireland, there’s not a huge difference (in audience reaction). But as you get away from Dublin, it’s a bit of a maverick thing for comedians to play to audiences where there’s a kind of…this is the way we do things here (attitude)…and I always love coming back to perform in Roscommon; they’re a great audience in Roscommon.” And we love you too Neil. Welcome back.
* Neil Delamere’s brand new tour, Butch Cassidy & the Sundance Pensioner comes to Roscommon Arts Centre on the 14th of April. Don’t miss it.