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laughter and 'joy' Tommy Tiernan tested his hit RTE show on Mountjoy Prisoners before airing on live TV

The comic hero interviewed inmates from Mountjoy prison to prep him for the Tommy Tiernan Show

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Irish comedian, actor, writer and presenter Tommy Tiernan in Salthill. Photo by Ray Ryan

Irish comedian, actor, writer and presenter Tommy Tiernan in Salthill. Photo by Ray Ryan

Irish comedian, actor, writer and presenter Tommy Tiernan in Salthill. Photo by Ray Ryan

Tommy Tiernan revealed that he piloted his talk show with convicts in Mountjoy Prison before it aired on RTÉ.

The comedian’s Saturday night talk show, The Tommy Tiernan Show, has proven to be a big hit with audiences, raking in an average of half a million viewers per episode.

Memorable guests from this season include Brian O’Driscoll, Liam Cunningham, and Anne Doyle but Tommy revealed that he tested out a version of the show with long-term prisoners in Mountjoy before it hit our screens.

Speaking on The Tommy, Hector & Laurita Podcast, the Navan native told the story of a “remarkable” prisoner he encountered.

He said: “I did a bit of a gig and I did a version of the chat show with the prisoners who came up and I chatted to them.

“I was interviewing this guy and he might never get out. He was one of the fellas now who killed a good few people.

“He shot them. He was removed from the environment that had turned him into a killer, so he was in a completely different environment. He was doing loads of courses.

“He was still in a life of extreme incarceration and restriction but a different person and able to look back now and go, ‘Those are the reasons why I ended up in that situation.’ But far removed from those situations, he was a different person.

“He was talking about the power of imagination and how that after a while he realised, he could be happy in prison.

“He said, ‘I’ll go back to my cell after we’ve been talking tonight, and I’m going to go for a walk on a beach.’

“He said, ‘I’ll close my eyes, I have all the time in the world. I’ll close my eyes and I will take myself footstep by footstep across a sandy shore on a beach and I could spend two or three hours doing it.’

“Just remarkable people. I’m not saying that they didn’t deserve to be there, or that Ireland would be safe if they were on the streets or anything like that but I’m just saying without passing judgement or without coming to any conclusion… that was a strong experience.”

The final episode of this season of The Tommy Tiernan Show aired two weeks ago, but Tommy confirmed that the show will return next year.

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