If you're in your late thirties- and not a ‘boomerang child’- then it's more than likely you've lived half your life outside the family nest. It’s a fact that comedian Neil Delamere will be covering in his upcoming new show at the Cork Opera House next week: “After 16-and-a-half years living as a culchie, I have now spent the same amount of time in Dublin,” Delamere tells Play. “So the show is old Neil- my 16 year-old self- battling it out against new Neil, who is 33. We have to decide who's better.”
Aptly titled DelaMere Mortal, the show sees Delamere outline what he has learned in the years since he left Offaly. Dabbling in a little witty self-reflection and good spirited fun, the trip down memory lane is aided by original footage from 1990s quiz show, Blackboard Jungle, when he captained his school team to victory.
The show, presented at the time by Ray D'Arcy, was a little taste of stardom for the young Delamere who went on to star in RTÉ’s The 2nd Republic, BBC’s The Blame Game and Fighting Talk, Michael McIntyre's Comedy Roadshow and Channel 4’s Stand Up for the Week. With several platinum-selling DVDs also under his belt, Delamere’s profile has risen considerably and last year he received an IFTA award for his documentary The Only Viking in the Village.
He is now working on a new documentary about St Patrick, which will air this month as the nation celebrates its patron saint.
“With the success of the Viking show, we wanted to do a new documentary, so St Patrick came up. I recently spent a very weird day going to his grave and then on to a gig at UCD… slightly surreal," laughs Delamere. "And no, I had no idea that St Patrick even had a grave, but he is alleged to be buried at Downpatrick in Down.
“The writers find it great fun to get me to do things I really don’t want to do, like climb Croagh Patrick in February, when it's freezing! In The Only Viking in the Village somebody shot an apple off my head using a bow and arrow. I had no idea that was going to happen because they don’t tell me half the stuff beforehand so my reaction is real, and of course, full of bleeps! So with St Patrick, I’m sure they are going to include a snake in there somewhere. I’ll admit it, I’m not great with snakes,” he smiles.