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Me and my health: Conor Grimes on his lifestyle


Double act: Conor Grimes
Double act: Conor Grimes

The 50-year-old from Donaghmore, Co Tyrone, is one half of comedy duo Grimes and McKee, with Alan McKee. He is married to Joanne and has three sons - Ronan (17), Lorcan (15) and Noah (13).

Q: Do you take regular exercise and if so, what?

A: I go through fits and bursts. I ran a leg of the marathon two years ago which could have been the start of a fantastic new career and health highlight, but then I realised my right knee was ropey so that had to stop. And then I got a trapped nerve in my neck this year, which curtailed any visits to the gym. I guess this is what happens as you get older and the body starts to slow down and bits stop working, much like your favourite old car. Rehearsals and shows are great exercise and for Bah, Humbug! we do a warm-up every morning, involving elaborate dance routines and yoga, which I love and plan to keep doing. The builders looking in at the Lyric rehearsal room are having a good laugh, I can tell you.

Q: What is the worst illness you've had?

A: I've been lucky with regards to that, I must say. I broke both my arms in separate incidents, which has left me a bit more conservative when it comes to extreme sports. I like the idea of mountain biking, bungee jumping or zorbing (where you take a giant inflatable ball, jump inside the middle, and roll down a hill), but if I'm honest I can't even watch them without wincing.

Q: How healthy is your diet?

A: It could be better. If I was to mark it, I would give myself an average 6 out of 10. I eat mostly home-cooked food and I enjoy cooking but when I'm with friends who do eat healthily all the time I realise how far I have to go! I'm improving little by little.

Q: Any bad habits?

A: Oh yes. Lots of those. My go-to favourite meal is an oxymoron - a sausage salad. Both good and bad, all in the same flavoursome bowl.

Q: Do you drink and smoke/if so how much?

Conor Grimes with comedy partner Alan McKee
Conor Grimes with comedy partner Alan McKee

A: I don't smoke anymore, I quit a long time ago. I do love wine and I really think that a good pint of Guinness in a cosy pub with delightful company has to be good for the soul.

Q: Do you take any supplements? 

A: My mother has browbeaten me into taking regular courses of multi-vitamins. I really don't see much benefit but they can't be actually bad for you. Or is that the next revelation?

Q: How do you take time out? 

A: I play a bit of guitar, but strictly at rookie level. I have a Kerry blue terrier and he keeps me occupied if I think I have a free moment. I love watching soccer and Gaelic football (but not playing so much). I'm a music fan and couldn't live without Spotify. It's brilliant - I've been a premium customer since the beginning.

Q: How well do you sleep?

A: Like a brick mostly. But when we are doing shows, sleep can be a problem when you have to get up early the next day, which I usually have to do. Busy family life. I've been told actors have a bigger adrenaline gland than most people due the thrill/terror of live performance, and it can keep working as you are in bed. The result is your heart races as you are nodding off and you become wide awake again. The answer is to always have a good book by the bed.

Q: Do you worry about getting old?

A: I have conflicting feelings of sorrow at the loss of youth - both mine and those close to me - and happiness at the sense of accomplishment that age brings. To say that time flies is the greatest understatement of all.

Q: What is your go-to product that keeps you feeling healthy?

A: Mandarin oranges. If I'm flagging I just eat five in a row and it's like a magic wand.

Along with Alan McKee, Conor has written and stars in Bah, Humbug!, a modern day Belfast take on the classic Dickens tale A Christmas Carol which is running at the Lyric Theatre in Belfast until January 5. Showings are at 8pm. Tickets are £22.50, with concessions £15. For further information and bookings visit:

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