“I’ve been up and coming for about five years now,” laughs comedian Shane Todd, during an interview at the launch of
“So after an extended stint as ‘the one to watch,’ I’m hopeful that 2016 is the year I actually ‘establish myself’!” But whatever about past prophecies, certainly the immediate future is looking particularly bright for the Northern Irishman.
For one, in August the 27-year-old really won over his critics with a stellar 23-night performance at the Edinburgh Fringe festival.
Wooing the crowd at the Pleasance Courtyard for an hour-long midnight gig, Shane has already been invited to return to Scotland next summer. Though admits that while some nights sold-out, on others he played to as few as three or four attendees.
“They were almost the best ones, mind,” he reflects now. “You still want to give the people who have turned up to the show a great performance – you never want to disappoint.”
Shane, not to mention his soft Holywood, Co Down lilt, has been charming YouTube fans for years, but stand-up comedy remains his “true passion and main focus”.
Still, and like many of his peers, his route into comedy was anything but straightforward: after school he initially toiled away for a magazine and then in a call centre.
“I’d work 8am-5pm; then it was into the car to hit the road for a show in Galway. Back to Belfast again in the dead of night to get a few hours sleep before getting up for work again. It was tough, so I took a gamble.
“For the first six months, the demand just wasn’t there. I had plenty crises of confidence. But gradually things picked up and now the flow is a lot more consistent; hopefully I made the right call.”
Few would think otherwise: in recent months alone Mr Todd has continued his immensely popular podcasts, has seen an eight-part sketch debut on BBC NI’s Late Licence, and has performed at his native city’s iconic Mandela Hall.
Understandably in the aftermath, he is looking forward to a spot of down-time over the festive season.
“Christmas Eve is my big night out,” he reveals. “But on the day itself, I’m more than happy to sit back and enjoy a Coke instead of a beer. Then I can ferry anyone who wants a lift around the city, and it means I can see everyone I need to see too.”
Shane, who is an ambassador for the 2015
“10.30pm comes around and I’m thinking ‘Ooo, Match Of The Day is on soon and there’s a cup of tea with my name on it in my kitchen’.
“So you never hear me complaining if I’m designated driver for the night – because that means I can go home whenever I want!”
Designated drivers can claim their free drinks by logging on to DesignatedDriver.ie and downloading a voucher, or enquiring in participating pubs and restaurants. A full list of participating outlets across Ireland and Northern Ireland are available on the site. Offer available until December 31st, 2015.
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