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Friday People: we have a chat with actor Ciaran McMenamin


Wilde child: Ciaran McMenamin is at Lough Ernest this weekend

Wilde child: Ciaran McMenamin is at Lough Ernest this weekend

Very close: Ciaran with mum Anne

Very close: Ciaran with mum Anne

Great support: Annabel Scholey

Great support: Annabel Scholey


Wilde child: Ciaran McMenamin is at Lough Ernest this weekend

The 39-year-old actor is originally from Enniskillen. He now lives in London with his partner Annabel Scholey and will be appearing at the Wilde Weekend by Lough Ernest in Enniskillen this weekend.

My girlfriend, Annabel Scholey

I was persuaded to take Annabel out for a drink on a sort of blind date by a mutual friend. I had refused point blank to go out with an actress. I got talked into it, though, and now we're living together, so it was a good call by our friend.

It's actually great going out with an actress. She's amazingly supportive of me and I can be supportive of her. We both understand how bizarre this career is and that many facets of it are out of your control.

My parents, Anne and Dermott

My dad now lives just outside Enniskillen in a place called Boho. He used to be a joiner and then went on to teach joinery before retiring. Mum was a district nurse and she still lives in Enniskillen.

I have two sisters, - Aine is a year older than me and Roisin is five years younger than me. Aine now lives near Holywood and Roisin lives in Glasgow, but we're still a close family and do plenty of visiting.

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It was my mum who took me to the Youth Theatre. I was a bit of an angry, wayward soul as a teenager and they were overjoyed when I found something that I was passionate about, and that seemed to focus me. They were clever enough to realise it was a good thing instead of a distraction, so I ended up going to drama school. Both parents always come to my shows when they can.

My best friend

Barry is my drinking partner, sporting partner and everything else. He was a couple of years behind me at school in Enniskillen, but we met at the Youth Theatre.

We started off with a kind of big brother/little brother relationship before becoming as thick as thieves. Barry flirted with becoming an actor for a while, before going off and becoming a high-flying barrister in London. If I'm ever crazy enough to get married, I think he's probably already written the best man's speech, to be honest.

Person I go to for advice

Gerry McIlhone has managed bands like Texas and Primal Scream.

He's about 20 years older than me, but we got chatting at a party and have been friends since. He's a calmer, wiser person that I go to for advice now.

My mentor, Kieron J Walsh

Kieron is a renowned film and television director from Dublin and we met just after I left drama school on my first big gig, The Young Person's Guide To Becoming A Rockstar.

I was a bit nervous, but Kieron and I gravitated towards each other at the read through and bonded. He's given me parts over the years that other people wouldn't normally have put me in.

We've been like a double act and he's not afraid to push me.

He's also a genuinely good friend, too.

My secret celebrity crush

I have a thing for Emily Maitlis from Newsnight. I used to have a notion of her when she did the London news years ago. Then she began to appeal to my intellect when she started on Newsnight.

Fantasy dinner party

I've decided to have a boys' night of people that, in reality, I could almost meet.

I'd like to have Nick Cave, as he's one of my favourite musicians and lyricists and I would love to pick his brains.

Stewart Lee, the comedian, again has a brilliantly satirical outlook on life and puts everything in a wonderful, eloquent way.

I'd also ask Eric Cantona, as I've been a life-long Manchester United fan and he was my favourite player. I also think he's bizarre and I would like to ask him why he became an actor. Finally, to keep us in check, I'd have Jon Snow who reads the Channel Four news.

  • Ciaran McMenamin will be performing at the inaugural Wilde Weekend by Lough Ernest, which is running from May 1-4, in Enniskillen, Fermanagh. For tickets and information go to www.ardowentheatre.com

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