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People: Comic Shane Todd on his special relationships

By Kerry McKittrick

The stand up comedian and actor (26) lives in Belfast with his girlfriend, Stacey Toner. He will be appearing at the Out To Lunch Festival next Friday, January 2.

My girlfriend Stacey

The first time Stacey and I met it was through mutual friends at a foam party at the Beach Club in the Odyssey in Belfast. I didn't see her again until a year ago when we met in Rain nightclub, and we've been together ever since.

Stacey works as a PE teacher now and although we do very different things we still manage to find time to spend together. I'm only out one or two nights a week so we're not exactly ships passing in the night.

I think we just get each other's humour very well and make each other laugh.

My best friend, Stevie Horan

We met when I was about 17 or 18 when we played football together for Holywood and became friends very quickly.

Stevie then went off to spend a year in France and two days later I started going out with his sister, which led to an awkward phone call with Stevie.

That relationship didn't work out but Stevie and I are still friends. He's back living in Holywood and works for Yell. We talk just about every day and still get the chance to hang out lots.

The person I go to for advice

The main person I would have gone to was my late granny, Peggy.

She was the matriarch of the family, always brutally honest but so caring. She always gave brilliant and unbiased advice.

My parents, Denis and Susan

My dad was a motor mechanic and my mum worked as a banker. My parents split up not long after I was born so I have a brother and a sister from mum's second marriage. Luke is 12 and Sophie is 10, which makes me feel a little old but I have a really great relationship with both of them and I get to see them grow up.

I'm very close to both of my parents and they've always been supportive of what I do. At one point I was juggling the stand-up with working in a call centre and burning the candle at both ends.

I spent a lot of time doing things like travelling to Galway to do a gig for next to no money then having to drive back to Belfast for work the next day.

They wanted me to make a decision about what I was going to do one way or the other and there was no problem at all when I decided to ditch the job to become a full-time comedian.

They encouraged me to be sensible, of course, as I still needed to pay the rent so I had to get to a place where I could support myself through comedy first.

My mentor Paddy McGaughey

Paddy's a fellow comedian who's from Ballymena and is just a couple of years older than me.

When I first started he took me under his wing and gave me some advice.

We used to travel to gigs together and he would show me how things worked.

Celebrity crush, Ariana Grande

I've always had a real thing for her.

She's a great singer with a great face and a great name. I would really like to meet her someday.

My fantasy dinner party

My first guest would be Richard Pryor, he was the finest comedian of all time.

Next, I'd ask Prince because he could entertain and because I think he would have some great stories.

After that it would be Ricky Gervais so I could ask him if I could be in some of his shows.

The final guest would be Steve Coogan, my all-time holiday hero

  • Shane will be appearing alongside Ruaidhri Ward and Lorcan McGrane as part of the Out To Lunch Festival on Friday, January 2 at 1pm

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