My secret life: Ed Byrne, comedian, 36

The home I grew up in...was a semi-detached house in a town called Swords, North County Dublin.

When I was a child I wanted to be...Luke Skywalker. When it became apparent that that was impossible I wanted to be an actor playing a character in 'Star Wars'. Any character as long as I got to meet Han Solo.

The moment that changed me for ever...was the simple act of leaving Ireland at 18 to go to college. It was amazing opportunity to reinvent myself.

My greatest inspiration...early on, it was listening to my brother's Billy Connolly album.

If I could change one thing about myself...I'd be more organised and motivated. There's so much I should be doing with my spare time instead of sitting in front of the TV.

What I see when I look in the that I'm getting older by the day. I've started doing that thing that people do when they check the elasticity of the skin under their jaw. And then sighing.

My style icon...I don't really have one any more. It used to be Prince. I still blame him for a phase I went through of wearing purple velvet suits. Nowadays, if I want to be smart, I just wear whatever Ozwald Boateng is knocking out.

The person who really makes me a comedian called Ben Norris. I have sat with the finest comics working today and we've all been helpless with laughter while Ben sits talking for up to three hours at a time. Truly a sight to behold.

A book that changed me...'The Sandman Vol 1: Preludes and Nocturnes' by Neil Gaiman. Nothing rivals the ability that Neil Gaiman has to transport you to another place.

My favourite work of art... the sculpture that used to be in Dublin Airport. It was like a cross between a pig and an armadillo and was made out of bits of shoe leather.

My favourite item of a brown Paul Smith leather jacket that I left on a train into King's Cross on Friday. At the moment I'm waiting for lost property to let me know whether or not it's been handed in.

It's not fashionable but I like...jeans to be exactly the right length, so you're not stepping on the end of them all the time. Particularly when it's wet out. Over-long jeans soak up water like a sponge.

You wouldn't know it but I'm very good at...walking up mountains. Maybe not VERY good but pretty good. You would probably get tired before me.

You may not know it but I'm no good at...any team sport. Don't ask me to play football with you. I had all the joy of sport thoroughly driven from me at school.

All my money goes Not just tax but interest and surcharges levied on the late payment of those taxes due to my almost pathological refusal to be more organised.

If I have time to myself...I watch TV. TV sucks the time out of my day. If I have enough time to myself I go hill walking in Scotland.

My house is...detached, with five bedrooms and a massive garden. I can afford this by moving 90 minutes outside London.

My most valuable possession is...the guitar I bought at auction. Prince played it on his 'Purple Rain' tour. It's a purple Telecaster copy with white flowers on it.

My favourite building...apart from my own house, it's the Sky Tower in Auckland, New Zealand. It inspired a very funny bit of material that stood me in good stead for some time and I have some great memories of being on its observation deck.

Movie heaven...David Lynch's 'The Straight Story'. I'm not a big fan of Lynch, but when he decides to tell a tale with a cohesive narrative, he does so with incredible sensitivity.

The best invention ever...Alka Seltzer.

The last album I bought/downloaded...'The Red Album' by Weezer. Very good indeed. I suggest you buy the "deluxe edition" which has extra tracks on it that are better than the rest of the album.

In 10 years' time, I hope semi-retired. Maybe living in New Zealand, learning to fly single-engine planes.

My greatest that I have no regrets. Wait – that's one regret. Fantastic! But hang on – I think that has cancelled itself out now. So now I have no regrets again.

My life in seven words...More than my fair share of fun.

A life in brief

Born in Dublin in April 1972, Ed Byrne is a Perrier Award-nominated stand-up comedian. Following six sell-out shows at this summer's Edinburgh Festival, Byrne is currently on his fourth national tour. He lives on the Hertfordshire/Essex border with his wife, Claire. He will be appearing tonight at the Corn Exchange, Brighton. For more tour details, visit

Start your day with The Independent, sign up for daily news emails
  • Get to the point
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

iJobs Job Widget
iJobs People

Recruitment Genius: HR Manager

£36000 - £45000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This is an exciting opportunity...

Ashdown Group: HR Manager Shared Services - Uxbridge, - 1 Year contract

£50000 per annum: Ashdown Group: HR Manager Shared Services - Uxbridge, Stock...

Recruitment Genius: Graduate Human Resource Officer and Executive Assistant

Negotiable: Recruitment Genius: This is an exciting opportunity to join one of...

Ashdown Group: HR Assistant (Events business) - Central Manchester - £20K

£18000 - £20000 per annum + Benefits: Ashdown Group: HR Assistant (Events busi...

Day In a Page

General Election 2015: ‘We will not sit down with Nicola Sturgeon’, says Ed Balls

'We will not sit down with Nicola Sturgeon'

In an exclusive interview, Ed Balls says he won't negotiate his first Budget with SNP MPs - even if Labour need their votes to secure its passage
VE Day 70th anniversary: How ordinary Britons celebrated the end of war in Europe

How ordinary Britons celebrated VE Day

Our perception of VE Day usually involves crowds of giddy Britons casting off the shackles of war with gay abandon. The truth was more nuanced
They came in with William Caxton's printing press, but typefaces still matter in the digital age

Typefaces still matter in the digital age

A new typeface once took years to create, now thousands are available at the click of a drop-down menu. So why do most of us still rely on the old classics, asks Meg Carter?
Discovery of 'missing link' between the two main life-forms on Earth could explain evolution of animals, say scientists

'Missing link' between Earth's two life-forms found

New microbial species tells us something about our dark past, say scientists
The Pan Am Experience is a 'flight' back to the 1970s that never takes off - at least, not literally

Pan Am Experience: A 'flight' back to the 70s

Tim Walker checks in and checks out a four-hour journey with a difference
Humans aren't alone in indulging in politics - it's everywhere in the animal world

Humans aren't alone in indulging in politics

Voting, mutual back-scratching, coups and charismatic leaders - it's everywhere in the animal world
Crisp sales are in decline - but this tasty trivia might tempt back the turncoats

Crisp sales are in decline

As a nation we're filling up on popcorn and pitta chips and forsaking their potato-based predecessors
Ronald McDonald the muse? Why Banksy, Ron English and Keith Coventry are lovin' Maccy D's

Ronald McDonald the muse

A new wave of artists is taking inspiration from the fast food chain
13 best picnic blankets

13 best picnic blankets

Dine al fresco without the grass stains and damp bottoms with something from our pick of picnic rugs
Barcelona 3 Bayern Munich 0 player ratings: Lionel Messi scores twice - but does he score highest in our ratings?

Barcelona vs Bayern Munich player ratings

Lionel Messi scores twice - but does he score highest in our ratings?
Martin Guptill: Explosive New Zealand batsman who sets the range for Kiwis' big guns

Explosive batsman who sets the range for Kiwis' big guns

Martin Guptill has smashed early runs for Derbyshire and tells Richard Edwards to expect more from the 'freakish' Brendon McCullum and his buoyant team during their tour of England
General Election 2015: Ed Miliband's unlikely journey from hapless geek to heart-throb

Miliband's unlikely journey from hapless geek to heart-throb

He was meant to be Labour's biggest handicap - but has become almost an asset
General Election 2015: A guide to the smaller parties, from the the National Health Action Party to the Church of the Militant Elvis Party

On the margins

From Militant Elvis to Women's Equality: a guide to the underdogs standing in the election
Amr Darrag: Ex-Muslim Brotherhood minister in exile still believes Egypt's military regime can be replaced with 'moderate' Islamic rule

'This is the battle of young Egypt for the future of our country'

Ex-Muslim Brotherhood minister Amr Darrag still believes the opposition can rid Egypt of its military regime and replace it with 'moderate' Islamic rule, he tells Robert Fisk
Why patients must rely less on doctors: Improving our own health is the 'blockbuster drug of the century'

Why patients must rely less on doctors

Improving our own health is the 'blockbuster drug of the century'