Baz Ashmawy has opened up about how his father leaving him and his mother deeply affected him, saying "he legged it with a bit of my identity".

The 50 Ways to Kill Your Mammy star admitted he used to tell people his dad had died after he left him when he was just eight years old.

In a candid chat on The Tommy Tiernan Show on RTÉ One, the 45-year-old presenter said: "I had my name and that was it, and then you're trying to figure out 'who am I?'

"I adored him, I thought he was god, I thought he was great."

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Ashmawy explained how his father leaving was like "being in a fight and one of your mates runs off you're kind of left there looking over your shoulder and going, 'Am I doing this alone, is that how this is?'"

"I remember I used to lie to people and say he died," he said.

"There were a couple of different versions of how he died. It was easier to say he died than to say your dad left."

Ashmawy said his dad left to go Stateside before returning to his native Egypt, and revealed how he made the decision to follow him over when he was a teenager with the hope of getting closure.

"I remember when I met him years later, I was maybe 15 or 16. I had moved to Egypt to spend some time with him to get answers and he just went, 'I don't want to talk about that right now' and that was it.

"There was no closure with it and then a couple of years later he passed away," he said.

You can watch the interview in full on the RTÉ Player.

The Tommy Tiernan Show airs Saturdays, 9.30pm, RTÉ One.

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