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More Than Jake
After a year sidelined with injury, PJ Gallagher tells Craig Fitzpatrick about returning to stand-up, run-ins with Russians and racing motorbikes.
Craig Fitzpatrick, 28 Mar 2012
PJ Gallagher has gone to the dogs. Literally.
“I’m just leaving the Dogs’ Trust,” he says, beginning our conversation with a trademark giggle in his voice. “I’ve adopted a new dalmatian so we’re trying to make our two dogs meet there and see if they’re getting on. It’s going to take a bit of time I think!”
Of course, comedians are under pressure to find a suitably hilarious, pun-tastic name for their pets, but luckily PJ won’t have to attempt to top Frank Skinner and David Baddiel’s moggy Chairman Meow.
“Ha, he’s called Louis, but that’s the name they gave him in the pound. He was there for four years so I don’t think I can change it at this stage. He’s huge, he’s more like a horse than a dog. But he’s great craic.”
It’s a nice snapshot of the contented domestic life the Dubliner now leads – himself and his Colombian girlfriend recently celebrated their first anniversary. He’s even learning Spanish.
“I’m not too bad now, I can hold my own. When were visiting her family we got stranded in Bogotá, where you just don’t get by if you don’t know Spanish. I learnt more in three weeks there than I probably did in months and months in Ireland. Our first date was a Valentine’s Day date last year. Although it wasn’t really a date – all my mates came along because they didn’t really get that it was just supposed to be the two of us!”
One can only hope Gallagher’s best known mucker Jason Byrne had the decency to stay away. He was probably busy that night hobnobbing with celebs on some chat show. Has it been surreal for PJ seeing his pal’s star rise to the point where he’s sharing screen time with Lady Gaga?
“That appearance on Graham Norton was so funny, I couldn’t believe it!” he chuckles in recollection. “This is a lad you used to work with in a warehouse and now he’s sitting there next to Gaga telling gags. You’re thinking, ‘Ah here, this is getting out of hand now! Somebody let us off the leash way too early!’”