Thursday 20 September 2018

Ed Byrne and I used to shoot rats in our horrible bachelor pad, reveals comic Ross Noble

Comedian Ross Noble has recalled the dire digs he shared with Irish stand-up comic Ed Byrne.

The Geordie funnyman, who lived with Byrne in London several years ago, described their flat as a “horrendous and disgusting” bachelor pad.

“We used to watch Men Behaving Badly and go: ‘They’re not even trying – look at those two middle-class idiots sitting there in their tidy flat’,” Noble said.

Noble said the filthy flat he shared with Ed was even infested with rodents.

To pass the time, the two men used to shoot rats with air guns in the middle of the night.

“It was not good,” Noble said.

The comedian is starring in Mel Brooks’ classic musical The Producers at Dublin’s Bord Gais Energy Theatre.


Noble plays Franz Liebkind, a former Nazi with a short fuse who keeps carrier pigeons.

“A lot of people tell me it’s the role I was born to play,” he joked.

Noble shares the stage with Jason Manford, who plays downtrodden accountant Leo Bloom. The part was originally played by Gene Wilder.

“It was daunting taking on the role when such fantastic actors and comedians have already played the part,” said Manford. “But I’m really enjoying it.” 

Based on Mel Brooks’ Academy Award winning film, The Producers has scooped a record-breaking 12 Tony Awards and three Olivier Awards.

Manford said that Irish crowds were some of the most responsive in the world.

“The audience are comedy savvy,” he said.

“An Irish audience, certainly a metropolitan Dublin audience, are used to laughing and having fun – that’s been great.”

Both Noble and Manford were quick to praise Irish comedians, including Jason Byrne and Tommy Tiernan.

“Comedy wise, there’s a rich heritage of comedy in Ireland. One of the best comics in the world is Tommy Tiernan,” Manford said.

“He’s fantastic. He’s transcended stand-up, he’s on another level.” 

Manford compared Tiernan to late comic Bill Hicks. “Sadly, I think he’s one of those comics that we’ll look back on in 30 years’ time, like Bill Hicks and George Carlin, and say ‘God he was f***ing good’.”

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