Comedy legend Ardal O’Hanlon has spoken about how his daft jokes and naivety landed him in trouble in the media during the height of his fame.
The Dublin comic was still a relatively young actor in his early thirties when Father Ted was first broadcast in the mid-1990s.
Speaking to joe.ie he admitted his own sense of humour would often lead to embarrassing newspaper headlines after his flippant comments would be taken literally by reporters in need of a good story.
He said: “I didn’t handle it particularly well. I just didn’t know about it really. I suppose saying stupid things in interviews would be a big one. Three or four times I was incredibly embarrassed by stuff that appeared in the newspapers.
“There was one, I was doing an interview with a Scottish newspaper about a part in a film I had in a Scottish folk story called The Great Friar’s Bobby… I was giving an interview promoting that film.
“I was asked about my wife – I’ve been with my wife since we were teenagers and we still get on fantastically well and everything, it’s great – but I would always make jokes about her in interviews. Always. I’d always make up jobs for her and things like that, I would say she’s a gymnast or something like that [laughs]. Just to see would it turn up in the interview.”
“But I remember saying, ‘God yeah we’ve been together since we were teenagers’.
“So it’s all about tone you see, ‘Oh I tried to leave her so many times but she just-’, so it was something like that I said and I thought the journalist was in cahoots with me over it.”
The Father Dougal actor went on to explain that the story appeared a month later in The Evening Herald repackaged with the headline ‘Ardal O’Hanlon Tries To Leave His Wife’.
O’Hanlon revealed his wife was shopping in Dublin when the butcher said to her: “Ah Jesus, I believe he’s trying to leave you!”
The actor said that it was not the only time he made such mistakes.
Another time he joked to a journalist that he sprinkles cocaine on his cereal every morning which resulted in a newspaper article and headline suggesting he had a drug problem.