The hugely popular comedian on cameras following his stand-up tour of Ireland for a new documentary
John Bishop was about to head to Ireland to do warm-up gigs for his 2017 Winging It tour when he decided on the hoof to take a camera crew with him!
The result is ITV’s new four-part series John Bishop’s Ireland, which follows the comedian as he learns about local folklore, while getting to grips with the Irish sense of humour.
Here, John Bishop, 52, explains to TV Times why Ireland will always be special to him…
Why did you want to film your Irish adventures for this documentary?
John Bishop: “Ireland is brilliant. It’s the first place that gave me the confidence to do comedy as a proper job. I built up an audience there before I built one up in England. I feel at home there.”
Do you have any Irish heritage?
JB: “Yes, a few generations away, like my mum’s grandparents and mum.”
What was your highlight?
JB: “Going to the All-Ireland Gaelic football final between Dublin and Mayo. That has got to be one of the best sporting events I’ve ever been to in my life. The atmosphere was incredible!”
You get really involved in local customs – which was the best?
JB: “Meeting Willie Daly [in episode two] because he’s so interesting. He’s a matchmaker in Lisdoonvarna. People looking for love turn up at the yearly Lisdoonvarna Matchmaking Festival, wish on his book and then he matches them up. Brilliant!”
We hear there’s a behind-the-scenes mishap in episode four…
JB: “Yes, in Portrush, I had the idea of swimming in the North Atlantic Ocean. It was about 5°C and the director said the longer I could stay in the better! By the time I came out, I nearly had hypothermia. It was unbelievably cold, but still a great experience!”
Main picture: David Fisher/BAFTA/REX/Shutterstock