Simon Delaney has revealed how touched he was by a tribute from broadcasting legend Gay Byrne after his role in The Snapper.
The 47-year-old star has been getting rave reviews for his performance as Jimmy Rabbitte in the sell-out show at Dublin’s Gate Theatre.
Simon said: “We have been getting a lot of fan mail with people writing in but my favourite was a gorgeous note from Gay Byrne who was there on opening night.
“I’ve known Gay for 20 years and himself and Kathleen came to see the show and a couple of days later I got a note saying how much he enjoyed it.
“I’d met him on Who Wants To Be A Millionaire? 20 years ago before I started working as an actor.
“I lost a few quid on that show and he said in the note, ‘It’s just as well you did not win big on Millionaire because if you did where would we all be now?’ I thought that was a lovely thing to do.”
Simon, who was speaking at this week’s TV3 autumn launch, told how he and the cast were amazed by the success of The Snapper, based on Roddy Doyle’s book and the 1993 film.
He added: “We opened on June 12 and it’s been sold out since. We have done 78 shows so far and we have 28 left and they are sold out.
“It has been a phenomenal success for the Gate and has broken all kinds of box office records.
“To be part of something that is a world premiere written by Roddy Doyle and originating the role of Jimmy Rabbitte on stage is very exciting stuff.”
And he admitted the cast were “very lucky” to have Doyle on hand for the first few days of rehearsals talking about Dublin in 1990 as “most of the cast weren’t born then”.
Simon said: “It sounded like Angela’s Ashes. No mobile phones, no internet. The younger actors were going, ‘What in the name of Jaysus did you do with yourselves?’ Well, we spoke to each other.
“It was amazing to revisit all that. We had just come out of the doldrums of the mid-80s, that depression, so it was fascinating.”
The TV chef and host of Saturday and Sunday AM will be fronting a new four-part documentary series on TV3 in October called Revolting Ireland, about Ireland’s history of protesting.
It will cover everything from the 1913 Dublin Lock-Out and anti- apartheid marches to the medical card rallies of 10 years ago and the more recent water protests.
He added: “Someone said to me, ‘We are not really a nation of protestors’ – but we are.
“If we see a section of society being put upon or unfairly treated we will get up off our arses and protest. And long may it last.”
Source: Celebrity News Ireland