Neil Delamere is one of Ireland's most popular comedians, a regular fixture on TV and radio, the host of Neil's Sunday Best on Today FM and the presenter of BBC's popular panel show The Blame Game, now in its tenth year. Neil's new nationwide tour, Handstand, kicks off on 27 December. 

Film

I recently saw Forever Pure on BBC4. It’s a remarkable documentary about the football club Beitar Jerusalem which has been described as having the most racist fans in the world. The story covers the 2012-2013 season, in which this most right-wing of clubs, the only one in the Israeli league not to have had Arab players, signs two Muslim footballers from Chechnya. It’s a hard watch in some parts, particularly as you witness the hideous invective thrown at the two signees, but it is never less than fascinating. I couldn’t recommend it highly enough.

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Music

Jack L popped in for a chat on my radio show recently and performed a couple of songs from his new album. When you’re sitting a couple of yards away from somebody who is talented enough to strip everything back and just sing with a guitar, you realise just how good he is. King of Soho is ridiculously catchy, to boot.

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Book

A friend of mine is a political scientist in Xavier University in Ohio, a massively important swing state and the last time we met he pretty much pressed a book into my hand and told me I had to read it. It’s called Hillbilly Elegy and goes someway to explaining why some people in America felt disenfranchised and disaffected enough to vote for Donald Trump.

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Theatre

A few years ago, I saw The Woman in Black in London and it seriously dented any pretensions I had that I was brave for a long while afterwards. It’s terrifying, so if horror is your thing, check it out in the Grand Opera House in Belfast from March 7th -11th forthcoming. The GOH is one of the most beautiful old theatres anywhere in Ireland or Britain. It’s full of beautiful architectural flourishes from a time when the Raj was the height of sophistication. You’ll scare the bejasus out of yourself while looking at a carving of an elephant.

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TV

I’m currently bingewatching Medici, Masters of Florence on Netflix.

Apparently 7 million Italians watched it even though it’s in English. It’s got the usual intrigue, and political machinations you might expect from such a show not to mention Dustin Hoffman, Richard Madden and scenery so spectacular it might as well book your flights to Italy for you.

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Gig

Believe it or not I saw a mime, Trygve Wakenshaw at the Cork Comedy Festival a couple of months ago and he was amazing. He’s won or been nominated for awards at the Edinburgh, Adelaide and Melbourne Fringe Festivals and however I describe his shows here would do him a disservice. See him if you can.

Over the next couple of weeks, I’m going to see David O’Doherty in Whelans in Dublin. Not only is he one of my favourite comedians, I also play indoor football with him on a Monday night so if I don’t recommend him he may sulk.

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Podcast

I love the Guardian’s Football Weekly podcast. Just the right amount of playfulness and insight. It’s a godsend, particularly in the first few months of the year when I’m touring around. It saves me and the support act having to actually talk to each other in the car.

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Tech

I’d love to recommend some amazing app that will forever change your life. Sadly I don’t know of one. The one I find the handiest is that parking app that allows you to pay for your parking and not continually have to return to your car to top it up. Exciting stuff I know.

The Next Big Thing 

I think they’re already a big thing but they’re going to continue their success next year, sketch group extraordinaire Foil Arms and Hog. I’ve watched this extremely talented trio build their audience, slowly year after year both at home and abroad. They’re now reaping the rewards of that hard work and skill. Each passing month brings them new fans and deservedly so.

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