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Alison Spittle, comedian

Thursday, 14th March, 2019 9:40am

Name and position: Alison Spittle, comedian

Lives: London

Family: I have one, they’re great. I also have lovely friends and in-not-laws.

Pets: I have uninvited mice in my flat and a squirrel that’s tormenting me. He prowls my balcony and eats my bulbs.

Favourite thing about Cork: Cafe Mexicana, the best Mexican food in Ireland, and Hillbillies chicken gravy. Oooh and that lovely Tara’s Tea Room near Isaacs. Cork has the best food, hands down!

Least favourite thing about Cork: The fear that the last bus in the evening might be booked out with pre-booked tickets. Many a time I’ve had a mini heart attack at half 12 on the quays.

One thing you’d change about Cork: The price of buses to Kinsale. Must be fierce dear to be a teenager in rural Cork. Where do you go for a big mitching day?

When you were small, what did you want to be as a grown-up?

I wanted to be the first person to live forever. I was very afraid of death. I ran out of the cinema and vomited when Gaston died in Beauty and the Beast (spoiler).

I used to pray to Catholic God, who I imagined was the Muppet Ghost of Christmas Future, and asked him to spare my family and myself from death.

Tell us about your career progression to your role today:

I graduated from college in Dublin and started working for iRadio. I qualified for ‘So You Think You’re Funny?’ Irish heats, and afterwards got a guest spot on the ‘Happy Hour’ section of ‘The John Murray Show’ on RTÉ Radio 1.

I gig and tour comedy shows, and have performed at the Edinburgh and Dublin Fringe festivals. I’ve also written and starred in sketches and shows on TV, like ‘Republic of Telly’ and ‘Choose or Lose’, and in 2017 co-wrote the six-part series ‘Nowhere Fast’.

What is the most enjoyable aspect of what you do?

Meeting new people and making them laugh and traveling to new places. Expressing myself fully.

What motivates you?

Money and spite.

What advice would you give your 15-year-old self?

Don’t worry about the Leaving Cert, no one will care.

If you weren’t in the job you have, what would you be doing?

If this doesn’t work out I’d like to be a tour guide. It seems like a fun job.

What is your greatest life or career achievement to-date?

My TV series ‘Nowhere Fast’, playing the Secret Policeman’s Ball in London and headlining Vicar Street in Dublin.

Who has had the biggest influence on you in your life?

My mum I’d say. All the women in my family are strong funny women, and the men are mad yokes.

What is the life dream now?

To survive in London and not have a mental breakdown.

How do you switch off?

I find it difficult. I need to meditate without falling asleep.

What is your favourite Cork memory?

Brian from City Limits giving me a wagon wheel pizza to bring home on the last bus home. I told him I was heading home and not to bother. He ran down with it just as I was getting on the bus. I couldn’t bring it on board so I folded up a few slices and hid it under my arm like a clutch bag. My armpit smelled like cheese and I stained my favourite t-shirt. It still has marks.

What is your favourite place in Cork?

Coughlan’s, the venue where I’m gigging on 22 March.

Do you have a favourite quote or motto?

‘The smell of want.’

When are you at your happiest?

On stage or watching RuPaul’s Drag Race.

Any regrets?

Loads - mostly being too careful and not doing scary things quicker. Also, allowing people to get away with abuse.

What is your hidden talent?

I can bend my fingers to look like a link of sausages.

What might we be surprised to know about you?

I had worms when I was seven, and I overshare.

Anything else you’d like to share with us?

Loads, but Ireland’s libel laws are too strong.

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