The best is vet to come from Paddy

Paddy McGuinness
Paddy McGuinness

FROM supermarket worker to prime time TV host, the last 10 years have been good to Paddy McGuinness.

“How are you flower, it’s Paddy,” he says in pure Bolton when we first speak. “I had to pick me dog up earlier from the vets – 450 quid, I almost needed gas and air.

Life's work: Paddy McGuinness is now a full-time TV entertainer. Picture: Alfie Hitchcock

Life's work: Paddy McGuinness is now a full-time TV entertainer. Picture: Alfie Hitchcock

“If I have kids and they say to me ‘I want to be an astronaut, daddy’ I’d be ‘No, you’re being a vet’ that’s where the money is.”

Even with a few pounds to his name these days, it is reassuring to hear even the host of hit ITV dating show Take Me Out knows the value of money.

In fact, Paddy doesn’t display any star attitude. “Maybe it’s because I still live in Bolton. Apart from having a nicer car and a nicer house I do exactly the same things I always have done.

“I still have the same group of mates and the same family parties. I think if you move to London and you’re immersed in it 24/7, that’s when you can start detaching yourself from reality.

In full flow: Paddy in stand-up

In full flow: Paddy in stand-up

“But because I purposely keep my feet on the ground I treat it like a job – although I do watch myself sometimes and think ‘Look at that, Saturday night, me – how did that happen?’

“I do lead pretty much the same life I’ve always led – if you start going on stage and pretending you’re someone you’re not, people will see through it.”

And part of Paddy’s charm, both as comedian and interviewer, is he has the down-to-earth attitude of someone who has got their hands dirty.

Before he was working the door of Peter Kay’s brilliant Chorley Phoenix Club, Paddy had a number of regular jobs from working in a warehouse at Morrisons, as a holiday rep in Corfu, silver service waiter, building site labourer and finally as a lifeguard

Working on it: Paddy McGuinnness in Max and Paddy's Road to Nowhere

Working on it: Paddy McGuinnness in Max and Paddy's Road to Nowhere

“When I left school I just liked having a bit of pocket money on me. My mum brought me up on her own and it was always engrained in me to work.

“Some of my mates used to be on the dole years ago and say ‘There’s nothing out there’. There is, but you might not like it. Every job I did I didn’t love but at the end of the day everyone’s got bills to pay and food to put on the table so you do it.”

The catalyst to make the full-time move into entertainment came while Paddy was working in the leisure centre.

“I did Phoenix Nights then went back to work, did the second series then went back to work but when Peter was on about Max & Paddy –and writing it – that’s when I left.

Doorman duty: Paddy McGuinness, back row second left, in Phoenix Nights

Doorman duty: Paddy McGuinness, back row second left, in Phoenix Nights

“The reason it took so long was purely because my mentality was: If you’re not working when you’re on holiday you don’t get holiday pay, you don’t get sick pay and everything else, that safety net gets pulled away from you.

“In this job if you’re not working you’re not getting paid so that’s why it took me so long to pluck up the courage to give it a go.

“Now my dad thinks if I’m not on telly I’m not working. He phoned me up the other day and went ‘I’m a bit worried about you’. He said ‘are you all right for cash, do you need any money’.

“I said ‘What are you on about?’

“He thinks if I’m not on telly, I’m on the dole.”

Of course, one sparkling irony is Paddy never actually had a job as a bouncer.

“Far from it, but I know enough of them and I’ve been thrown out of enough clubs,” he quips. “I suppose it balances itself out in the long run.”

That Saturday night feeling

SOME of what has happened to Paddy since his last tour filled Sheffield City Hall will occupy his banter when he visits the Motorpoint on October 13.

“I’ll be talking about getting engaged and getting married, the stuff that every bloke and every woman goes through. I’ll be touching on that, definitely.

“It’s been two years since the last tour. You’ve got to kind of experience things and let things happen in your life that you can write about.

“I was talking to Jimmy Carr and he’s constantly on the road. I don’t know how he does it but he loves that – everyone’s different.

“I think every two years there’s enough stuff to talk about and have a bit of fun with. I’ve always wanted people to come along and get a proper show and go home in a good mood having had a good night.

“It’s always changing too. When you’re on tour things are happening in the news and what have you that you throw in.

“Things happen in the press and although I’m not a nasty comedian, I don’t go too hard on things, I will talk about stuff when I know it’s on people’s minds.”

One thing that will be is the title of the tour, Saturday Night Live.

We can’t help but point out that Sheffield gets Paddy on a Thursday.

“The reason I called it that is when I was a kid the big night when all the best telly was on was a Saturday and I wanted to get that feeling on stage of a Saturday out.

“I started booking the venues with the promoter and what happens is you’ll ring up an arena and they’ll say ‘Well, actually on that particular Saturday we’ve got Disney On Ice in, but you can have a Thursday or Friday’. So I thought ‘All right then we’re on the wrong night but let’s crack on’.

“As long as the feel is a Saturday night, that’s the main thing.”

So will that mean some Thursday night folk getting a £5 discount on the ticket?

“You read my mind,” he chortles. “Straight to the vet, that goes.”

Tickets, priced £25, are on sale now.

TV dating show ‘has just worked’

PADDY McGuinness has become a household favourite in his prime-time pursuit of match-making young singles on telly.

Not since Cilla Black sent hapless couples on their way to love and loathing has there been a successful format and the market was arguably open for a new dating show.

“You say that but there’ve been quite a few on since Blind Date and they’ve just not worked.

“This last series was on with Ant & Dec and Harry Hill and it used to get more viewing figures than the pair of them. It’s amazing. It doesn’t dress itself up to be anything that it’s not. It’s just a bit of Saturday night entertainment.

“The show’s transforming into a kind of a cross between Blind Date and The Generation Game. I’m enjoying it.”

But he’s yet to be invited to the show’s first wedding. “It’s never really come into my head, that. But if anyone does get wed off the show then I’ll have to knock up a best man speech I suppose.”

Certainly there’s little chance of the 37-year-old taking a shine to any of the contestants – Paddy officially took himself off the dating market last month when he got married.

While fame may bring with it some eyebrow-raising offers, he says he knew the time was right.

“Touring and stand up comedy, when you’re single, is a pretty hedonistic lifestyle,” he admits.

“When you get into your 30s, you settle down. It doesn’t entertain me, that sort of thing. It’s great when you’re young – I encourage lads and girls to have fun – but there comes a point when you’ve got to take some responsibility and settle down. It just kind of happened for me.

“There’s only so long you can hold your stomach in in the bedroom. That’s the hardest part. But that’s what dimmers are for.”