The Republic of Telly is back on our airwaves and that can only mean the return of its famous roving reporter, Bernard O’Shea. Sean Defoe of The Daily Shift caught up with Bernard to talk about TV, Comedy and One Direction…
While Bernard O’Shea is best known for his skits on the hit RTÉ show, he is also an avid musician, writer and stand-up.
For those who haven’t heard, Bernard will bring his Stand-Up act to Vicar Street, December,7. Starting off in stand-up, he says himself that “with television it’s so different because with television it’s such a quick format. You know you only have maybe fifty to eighty seconds.”
As an avid musician, musical comedy is also a big part of Bernard’s act; after starting to play music at an early age, it fed into comedy; “I used to just do parodies and stuff like that.”
Some of Bernard’s lyrical comedy can be found on his SoundCloud, along with a very good studio sketch where Bernard interviews the boys from One Direction. When asked if they would appear at his live show the comedian remarked: “they might show up and be at the gate because you never know, anyone can buy a ticket and go.”
The comedian also confessed his envy of Irish heartthrob Niall Horan. “I wish I was Niall Horan though. Because he’s good looking, he’s got loads of women, he’s massively wealthy and they say money can’t buy you happiness but it can go a long way to trying to get you happiness.” Some men would be happy with a show on national TV that allows you to be on set with Georgia Salpa, Bernard however remarks, “there’s always more.”
Speaking of more, he also confesses that he would enjoy a return to radio. Having previously hosted the breakfast show on i105-107fm Bernard said “I’d love to do radio again, I’m missing it now.” However he was sceptical about doing a full-time show again; “I like doing contributory stuff and I like being on the radio especially having the craic with someone.”
Any man with dreams bigger than Georgia Salpa must have some pretty big plans for the future and Bernard is no exception. “Well definitely, world domination. I’m just waiting for the starter pack to arrive” he exclaims, displaying his typical nonchalant wit. “[Looking beyond] I’m kind of in the process of writing a studio based television show that’s based in 1970’s Ireland. I’m trapped in 1973 and I’m the host of a television show but I don’t know how I’ve gotten there…a kind of Larry Sanders, meets Alan Partridge, meets 1973.”
Bernard seems genuinely excited about the start of another season of the Republic of Telly noting, “it’s great to be back with Dermot and Jen”. When asked about his favourite moment from his time in RTE, Bernard picks a very simple one; “We were doing a sketch yesterday and Dermot had a line in the sketch and we couldn’t stop laughing for about half an hour.” Giggling, he continued “he was under pressure to go but we just couldn’t stop laughing every time he delivered the line. That would be one of my favourite moments, when we just can’t stop laughing.”
Finally and inescapably we came to the real topic at hand, gingers. With a spate of successful gingers in the media from Ed Sheeran, Pat Byrne to this guy; I wanted to know what fills his supposedly empty soul. The answer, “I fill my empty soul with coffee and…hope.”
So there you have it, a Niall Horan wannabe with an alter ego stuck in 1973 and a soul full of coffee and hope; you really can’t make this stuff up. However on top of that Bernard O’Shea is an absolute gentleman and a top-notch comedian, definitely one to watch out for in the future.
Tickets for his show in Vicar Street on December 7 are available from Ticketmaster.