| 9.9°C Dublin

Cheeky monkey Fota ranger says 'hairy' and 'ginger' comedian Bernard O’Shea would make a good orangutan

In his new TV series Bernard gets members of the public with interesting jobs to do a comedy routines in front of their colleagues

Close

Comedian Bernard O'Shea. Photo: Mark Condren

Comedian Bernard O'Shea. Photo: Mark Condren

Comedian Bernard O'Shea. Photo: Mark Condren

Comedian Bernard O’Shea would be an orangutan if he was to be an animal.

So maintains Fota Wildlife Park animal ranger Fiona Walsh, who was tasked by the entertainer to do a stand-up routine in his new RTE series Bernard’s Working Comics.

“He’s a bit ginger, hairy, playful, intelligent and always hanging around,” laughs Fiona (33) when asked to justify why she thinks Bernard may make a good orangutan.

But Fiona may be a bit biased in labelling Bernard as a possible orangutan as her main job in the Co Cork zoo is working with primates and there are about 80 such animals in the park.

In his new TV series Bernard gets members of the public with interesting jobs to do a comedy routines in front of their colleagues.

Partner

Viewers will see Fiona organising a 40th birthday party for gibbons Clyde, whose partner is called Kia.

“Myself and Bernard worked out a routine whereby Kia, who’s a mother, looks enviously at me from her island at me being single and living a carefree life,” smiles Fiona. “Kia has four kids with Clyde.”

Tinder is mentioned in Fiona’s routine and it’s something she has tried personally.

“I have been on it and tried it out but I’m not anymore as I didn’t think it was for me,” she confesses.

She admits she was nervous in having to stand up in front of her colleagues and reveals that she even over analyses texts messages from friends.

Fiona, who hails from Ballincollig in Cork, studied Environmental Science in UCC and learned a lot when she was based in Franklin Zoo in Boston.

Due to the pandemic Fota is closed at the moment and even when lockdown was eased they had restricted numbers.

Its management recently announced the park may have to close permanently if the crisis continues.

“It is worrying but we are doing our best,” she explains.

“The Government gave ourselves and Dublin Zoo a grant of about E3 million last year and that helps somewhat. We are a non government organisation and most of our income is got from visitors The park will reopen when it is safe to do so.”

Fiona has always wanted to work with animals.

“I suppose from a young age I’ve always loved animals and just nature and being outdoors,” she explains.

“My grand is from Midleton, so we would always be brought to Fota Wildlife Park and picnics, so I’ve a lot of nice childhood memories

“My grandparents on my dad’s side had a farm in Youghal, and my uncle is now farming there. We were always feeding the lambs. I had this caring side, I liked nature and animals. I chose zoology because I wanted to work with animals and I got involved with Fota.”

Fiona was taken aback when Bernard picked her to do the comedy routine.

“I would have thought there were a lot funnier people in Fota and I wonder why he chose me, but I suppose he saw a bit of humour in me or someone he would have been able to train,” she notes. “I got a great buzz off it and there was a lot of adrenaline.

“These things happen for a reason and I would have regretted if I had not done it.

As to what type of animal she would like to be herself, Fiona ponders before replying: “Maybe a dog because it has home comforts, as they get a lot of care or a giraffe, as they’re tall and I’d be able to see everything going on in the park.”

Bernard’s Working Comics tomorrow RTE2 9.30pm

Download the Sunday World app

Now download the free app for all the latest Sunday World News, Crime, Irish Showbiz and Sport. Available on Apple and Android devices

Online Editors


Top Videos





Privacy