Novelist Colm Tóibín has been waxing lyrical about his native Wexford and the delights of a greasy fry on Saturday mornings.

Interviewed by The Telegraph in advance of his appearance at the Hay-on-Wye festival in Wales yesterday, Tóibín said: “I can get really good brown bread in the village supermarket that’s been dropped in the same morning by somebody.

"Then I’m talking bacon, sausages, butter; I’m talking eggs, fried, which is really bad for you, or scrambled; and I’m talking orange juice.”

The novelist also revealed that when he finished his latest best-selling novel, Nora Webster, he arose at 5.00am at his beach house in Blackwater in Wexford to write the last important scene and go for a celebratory dawn dip in the sea. 

"It started to rain, but I figured there was no real rule against swimming in the rain," he said. "So I walked down, got completely soaked, and then got in. That was definitely a perfect day.”

The writer said that when staying at his Wexford hideaway, he tends to lose touch with global developments.

“I don’t watch television or have internet, so I don’t often follow what’s going on. For example - I’m not making this up - I honestly thought up until the election that Ed Balls was a name people used for Ed Miliband when they wished to insult him.”