Following in the footsteps of Alan Carr, Patrick Monahan worked as the warm-up for Jonathan Ross before The Paul O’Grady show and he talked to RTÉ TEN about working with both comedians.
The Irish-Iranian comedian spoke about how he got the much sought after role: “It all happened by chance really. At the time Alan Carr used to do it, he was the main warm-up on it. He had the same agent as Jonathan Ross and it was a good gig to have because you’re in front of 400 or 500 people who are just dying to come in and see the show and you obviously watch the whole show and you’ve got all these big Hollywood A-Listers.
“It’s great you’re getting paid to watch what you watch anyway for free. So Alan had just started on ‘The Friday Night Project’ and he was becoming big at that point so then they asked me.
“They wanted someone who is clean and can have a laugh with the audience and not be too offensive. You’ve got the Frankie Boyle style of comedy or the likes of Tommy Tiernan, who I think is brilliant – but the thing is you’ve got this family sort of crowd so you can’t start talking about certain taboo topics or you’ll just shock them. They asked me then, probably thinking ‘This’ll work, he’s not going to offend anybody or give them a heart attack.’”
When asked what he thought of Ross, he said: “He seemed like a nice gentleman and he was always pleasant and he’d say ‘Hello’.
"Like most people of that sort of level, you never really have a sit down with him because they’ve got an entourage of producers, agents and so on but he always thanked me in front of the audience, he didn’t have to do that but he did which was great.
"He was really professional but he was a busy man between all of the guests and running the whole show. I was there for a few years right up to the time Jonathan got suspended. Then there was the whole thing of whether he was coming back or not and then that’s where the Paul O’Grady show happened, so Jonathan Ross opened the door for the next one, which was brilliant.
The two TV presenters have completely different styles and Monahan spoke very highly of O’Grady: “What a lovely bloke. He was just the opposite, you couldn’t get him to stop talking! You come in in the morning and he’d be all [puts on a Liverpool accent] ‘A’right Pat, where were you last night? How was it? What was it like?’
“He’s someone who has done 25 years of live stand-up so he's doing exactly what I’ve done but for that long so he was just so interested. Like everyone, when you’ve done something for so long, you still miss it or you still want to know what’s going on.
“I think that’s why he does so well on TV because there’s no difference on screen to off screen. I stopped doing that then when he finished his daytime show, about a year ago and I’ve started touring more and couldn’t do his evening because my own gigs have really started to take off.
“He’s given me a leg up though, he’s put me on the show as a guest and let me promote my gigs so he’s a really great guy.”
Monahan joins Jason Byrne, PJ Gallagher, Colin Murphy, Karl Spain, Roisin Conaty, Craig Hill and others in the line-up for the 4th Bulmers Comedy Festival www.clonmelcomedy.com