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All the best: Tim McGarry

The 49-year-old is a writer and comedian best known for his starring role as Da in BBC's Give My Head Peace which returns to the Grand Opera House in Belfast next year. He lives in Belfast with his wife Caroline and their children, Joseph (16) and Michael (11)

My best moment ....Tim McGarry

Standing on the stage at the Grand Opera House for my solo show, Tim McGarry's Irish History Lesson, in 2010. I've been involved in the Grand Opera House behind the scenes for years and it's the finest theatre around. The reception for the show was great.

My best way to relax

I love a glass of wine and the Irish Times Simplex Crossword. It has to be the Simplex one because idiots like me can do it in about half-an-hour.

My best job

I spent four years working as legal officer on the Equal Opportunities Commission fighting sex discrimination. I was one of the few men in the legal department. I'm an expert on maternity rights and sexual harassment because of it. I enjoyed the work and it was a really good organisation. We took cases on behalf of people who had a really hard time and hopefully made a difference to their lives. We even managed to change the law and helped contribute to a more equal society.

My best advice

That came from my dad and he said: "Always have a sense of your own ridiculousness." He always thought that people in this country took themselves far too seriously given that we're just a small speck in a very big world. He was absolutely right.

My best gift

My wife is wonderful but she gives bad presents. For my last birthday she ironed three of my shirts. I do my own ironing but for my birthday treat she did them for me and it was the best present ever. I sat and watched with a glass of wine.

My best buy

A bit nerdy but it's my MacBook Air laptop. It's my right arm and I would be lost without it as it's my office and has my diary, too. It's a thing of beauty to look at and a wonderful piece of machinery.

My best achievement

As far as I know I was the first person on local television to say f***. It was back in 1995 for Two Ceasefires And A Wedding. There was big debate at the BBC as to whether it should go in or not and we actually made two different versions – one with the expletive and one without. In the end the one with was broadcast with a warning saying that there would be strong language in 26 minutes. At least that kept people watching for 26 minutes, though.

My best book

God Is Not Great by the late, great Christopher Hitchens. It's well written and a good laugh – I'd recommend it to anybody.

Monty Python's Life Of Brian (right) is the finest film ever made. It's consistently funny from start to finish and has just about every kind of comedy in it from slapstick to satire to genius jokes. It also has the best ever movie song – Always Look On The Bright Side Of Life. It's a good philosophy as well.

I love anything by The Smiths, Joy Division or Stiff Little Fingers, but I've gone with Paranoid Android by Radiohead. It's from the album OK Computer which is a superb piece of music. Radiohead are one of those rare bands that just did nothing wrong.

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