Belfast Telegraph

Comedian Shane Todd tells how serious illness blow led him to chase dream of making it big

By Adrian Rutherford

A call centre worker-turned-funnyman has revealed how a brush with serious illness led him to chase his dream of making it big on stage.

Shane Todd is one of the rising stars of Northern Ireland comedy. But just two years ago he thought his life would change after being diagnosed with Crohn's disease.

His weight plummeted and he ended up in hospital.

For the next 12 months he suffered from severe post-viral fatigue.

The 28-year-old from Holywood, Co Down, said it was the moment he realised that he should follow his ambition of a full-time career in comedy.

"It definitely made me have a sense of just going for things a lot more," he said.

Shane, who brings his Holywood To Hollywood show to the Ulster Hall tonight, was diagnosed with Crohn's in 2014. The long-term condition causes inflammation of the lining of the digestive system. The drama started when he was forced to pull out of a gig.

"I was going to do the Empire for Belfast Comedy Festival," he said. "Everything was set in place and it was going to be my biggest show, and a couple of months before it I just didn't feel great.

"I had a loss of energy and stuff like that. They thought it was my appendix and took it out, but that wasn't the problem.

"I was diagnosed with Crohn's disease. I had to cancel the show as I had dropped from about 11 stone to eight-and-a-half and I was bedridden and in hospital. It took it out of me for about a year.

"I remember being in hospital with a drip in my arm and just thinking: 'I'd love to go and do just five minutes of stand-up'.

"I was only in for two weeks, but when I first went in they told me I would potentially be in for three or four months."

It was around this time that Shane opted to turn his hobby into a full-time career. "For about three months nothing happened. I was just about to give up when a gig or two came up. It just snowballed from there and became regular work."

Tickets for tonight's show are available from the Ulster Hall box office

Belfast Telegraph


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