FRIDAY’S CHILD NEIL DOUGAN

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This week’s Friday’s Child is Neil Dougan who performs his show ‘The Funny Thing About Being a Prod’ at the Waterside Theatre on February 20. Packed with tales of ‘head the balls’ and heretics, his subjects range from revolutionary reformists to bonfire builders, the Four Musketeers, a tribe of Native American Orangemen, the Scots Irish, 17thCentury Calvinist orgies (in Essex), Saint Patrick ...even Rasputin gets a mention.

How would you describe yourself?

A cross between Gregory Campbell and Joey Essex

Happiest childhood memory?

Boys Brigade camping holidays to Millport in Scotland. Probably be illegal now under child protection legislation.

What was your first job?

From I was 14 years old I laboured for my Dad (he was a plasterer) during summer holidays. He did it to put me off wanting to go into building site work.

Favourite film?

Once upon a time in America - Sergio Leone (1984) with Robert De Niro, James Woods.

Favourite television programme?

Curb your Enthusiasm – Larry David . Just think it’s the funniest television series ever.

Favourite expression?

If he was any skinnier, he’d only need one eye. (Love how people from here can be funny and warm with their insults.)

Favourite method of relaxation?

I do enjoy the occasional pint of real ale.

Favourite holiday destination?

We honeymooned in Kenya over 20 years ago. Would love to go back, although I’d fancy South Africa if I ever get to afford it.

Who would you most like to meet?

Billy Connelly. Still the best stand up ever for me.

What makes you angry?

Celebrity Big Brother and all who sail in her.

What makes you happy?

My Kids. I have three. Katie, Emma and Jack. All very different. All make me proud.

What human quality do you most admire?

Empathy.

What human quality do you least admire?

Sleekitness (plus I love the fact it’s an Ulster Scots word apparently).

What has been the most embarrassing thing to happen to you?

Once caught breaking out of a pub in Liverpool. Was playing a comedy club years ago that allowed the acts to sleep in an upstairs room in the pub. I had to leave about 6:30 in the morning to catch the early flight home, as they are always the cheapest. Noticed the door was locked and alarmed, so I climbed out a window and had to explain myself to a passer by who was about to call the police.

What was the worst thing to happen to you in your life?

I’ve had a charmed one so far. Few ups and downs. Nothing compared to what others have been through.

What is your greatest fear?

That I turn out like Donald Trump.

What has been the high point of your life to date?

Birth of my children, and winning the under 11 Belfast Primary Schools 5-a-side competition in 1977.

How would you like to be remembered?

As the hottest underwear model that Calvin Klein ever employed.

What is your most treasured possession?

I find possessions meaningless.

If you won the lotto what would you do with it?

Don’t do it. Caused too many fights in our house. Wife was forever asking me how much money we’d be giving cousins and their kids if we won. Then I got the drink in me at a wedding and told the lot of them they were getting nothing.

If you could be granted one wish in life, what would you ask for?

That dinosaurs came back and we were allowed to use them for farming and pets. Just like creationists believe we once did.

If you could write your own epitaph what would it be?

Would love to do something on my headstone like Spike Milligan “Duirt me leat go raibh me breoite”, English translation “I told you I was ill”. 
Was disappointed WC Fields didn’t follow through with his proposal to have “On the whole, I’d rather be in Philadelphia” inscribed on his. Mine might read “Everyone else gets to heaven and all we agnostics get is a lousy headstone ”