I worked the lovely Shane Lynch at the end of 2010. We did pantomime together in Guildford. He was Prince Charming and I was Sleeping Beauty. I felt so sorry for him that I had been chosen to play opposite him. A handsome, cool boy band guy and a kids tv, fugly, short princess! I thought he's going to be appalled at the producers choice of leading lady. I was so wrong though.
He is the sweetest kindest man. Utterly dedicated to his beautiful wife Sheena and daughters, Billie Rae, who is 8 years old and Marley Mae who is 4 years old. Shane is a shy, private soul. Not vain at all, even though he is one of the most loved men on the planet.
We got on immediately and he decided very quickly that I was like the little brother he never had. We laughed and laughed that Christmas, sometimes I could barely look at him onstage for fear of getting the giggles and I often did!
We could not be more different, he is a devoted Christian, I am a tarot reading pagan (he did often tell me, he thought I had a demon in me though). He hunts animals, I avoid anything that harms animals. He is shy and sensitive, yet confident in is convictions. I am outspoken, with no confidence and yet I can be brutal.... Both of us are very moral, loyal people though and I think that's why a lifelong friendship was made that Christmas, which is a festive miracle as neither of us makes new friends very easily.
I think we challenged each others ways of thinking and I know he did change me. He enhanced my confidence with many a wise word in the wings and he made me think about my life choices. He is a very positive person and he believed that I didn't have the most positive people around me at that time in my life and he was right, I didn't. He showed me that everyone deserves to be respected by the people in their lives and if they are not then it's OK to move on and away from anyone who hurts you.
Funnily enough, it was actually Mr Lynch who began to change my mind about having children. He always seemed impressed with the way I dealt with the kids at the show and one day after a barrage of kids had attacked me for pictures with them, he told me that he really thought I should be a mum and that I should do it soon, as I wasn't getting any younger! I laughed and said, I've worked with children long enough to know that I don't like them enough to be a good mother. He then said something that not only made me laugh my ass off, it stayed with me and softened me to the idea of having kids. He said, in his mocking Dublin accent, " Arh but kids are like smelling your own farts. You don't mind your own but you don't wanna smell other peoples"
I think I laughed until my ribs hurt at what he said but it definitely unlocked a door up in my mind that until then had been bolted shut. Thanks to Shane by the time Ayden met me, although he did have to prize the 'having kids door' open in my head. It was not as derelict and long forgotten as it had been for many years. I'm so grateful to the Universe that it sent me tiny messages to break the spell, so that I eventually did the best job in the world and became a mum to Phoenix before it was too late.
When I asked Shane if he would do this interview he said yes straight away, which makes me love him even more. So with my husband and baby in tow, we took a trip up to Whitley Bay where Shane is appearing in Aladdin at the Playhouse there, for Blue Genie entertainment.
This time, Shane was not the Prince but the baddie Ebenezer and Phoenix was off to his first ever panto. Oh yes he was!
The show was perfectly traditional and Shane is an excellent villain, even though in real life he is always the hero to me. It was the first time my gorgeous husband had met my adopted big brother and of course with their Irish connections they got on famously and I was soon pushed out of the conversation.
Shane and my boys (you can see the Irish running through their veins there...)
When I did get a word in edge-ways, I managed to ask these questions for you to enjoy.
What are the best tips you can give other parents?
"Being a parent is so individual and I don't think anyone can tell you how to do it because your child will do different things to other people's children.
One thing that might piss you off, may not piss off another parent. What some people might find funny in their child, another person might find appalling. For example, a kid running around to some parents is amazing cos the kid is having great fun but that same activity could be completely annoying to others because they might hate children running around and think, that their children should be behaving and sat down still, you know.
I don't think there's any advice I can give other than, definitely do become a parent, if you're lucky enough to be able to. Whatever is thrown at you, try it out yourself, because whatever ticks your boxes is how you're gonna deal with being a parent. Just do it your way and enjoy it your way."
What's the best thing for you about being a dad?
"For me I've got two girls. For some reason before I had kids, whenever I saw a vision of me having children, I always saw girls, I don't know why I just did and I love that. I think it's because very much so, they are daddies girls.
The best thing is, that love you feel for your children. It's an unexplained love for sure. I think we all go through life, loving certain things, people and what not but the love for your child is something that cannot be explained. You can't put it in to words, you can't put it in to actions even. It is just a pure deep rooted emotion. That's what being a father is...... certainly what my girls are to me. Deep unconditional love, that you can't even put a word on, it's so great."
What's the hardest about being a dad?
"The hardest thing for me, is not being there for certain things that are important to the child at that given time.
Again different fathers have different scenarios but for me I'm an, on the road guy, always have been all my life. Every business I do is on the road and away from my children. However, every business that I do on the road and away from my children, is for their greater good. But I do ask myself a lot, where is that happy line, where is it? You know, when they are saying that they've got school plays or whatever it is these things they do, like nativities and all that kind of stuff and I can't be there for them. That is hard.
Does it really effect the child though? I don't know, I think it probably effects me much more. But that said, you want to see shoes on their feet and they're gonna have holes in their clothes if you don't go to work aren't they? But I find that hard, not being there for the small stuff - it's a big deal to me"
What's your most embarrassing dad moment?
"I don't think I've had any embarrassing dad moments, other than, I'm always embarrassed. I get embarrassed going to pick them up from school, more than anything else. I don't know why. I just find it hard mixing with other parents. It's hard with my job, I feel awkward, plus, I don't want to get know anyone really. Haha, I don't need anymore friends, haha I'm a scrooge like that. Yes, the school playground embarrasses me.
The girls don't really swear and they've never said anything that has embarrassed me. It's more I get a bit weirded out sometimes maybe, you know when I'm with the girls and people come up to me in the street for pictures or anything like that. I guess it's different being a famous dad.. "
(he looks embarrassed even saying he's famous here).
"My eight year old gets it now, she understands, she's been to concerts and stuff but my 4 year old is like, what's going on dad? So that's always an embarrassing scenario. Obviously I appreciate the fans but I think maybe they don't realise it can be embarrassing when you're being a normal, everyday dad and then suddenly your work world collides with your personal world, you feel bad for your kids, you know.."
Speaking of your fans, what's coming up for us to see you in?
"I'm really pleased because I've been filming a TV Show about cars, for the National Geographic Channel , called 'Super Car Mega Build' due to air in April/May time 2017.
When it comes to doing any, outside of 'Boyzone' jobs, I think doing a Car Show is something I've always been interested in doing. Before music I was a car mechanic and I did motor sport. So, to land a TV job, dealing with cars is a kind of a dream job for me yet again. It's a real double bubble for me!
You know, growing up as a kid, people dream of being pop stars and race car drivers and all that kind of stuff and you know I've been lucky enough to live those two lives and I still I am.
I think it starts to air in April or May 2017 and it's on National Geographic - It's called 'Super Car Mega Build.' This is series two, I was a guest on series one and then the channel asked me to come and present the whole of series two, I'm so excited. It's a reality style show where me and my fabricator, build cars for our boss. Our boss is the money man and he has particular clients and we build specific cars."
Oh I see like your car? The matt black Rolls Royce you have?
"Yes, well that car was built on that show when I was the guest on it. That's when they said, "Listen that went down around the world really well, would you like to do the whole thing and build all the cars?" And of course, I said yeah, you're right I would like that, so that's pretty much where that job came from".
Do you have a holiday message for the readers?
"You know what, enjoy it!
I guess in a weird way, I would love to have Christmas off and I don't, so for those that do have it off, just enjoy the fucking thing, you know what I mean? Don't be so bar humbug about anything.
It's a great time of year, a lot of people are trying to be cheerful. Look around people are putting lights on their houses. Everything is shining and glittery, so just be happy with it because come January and February when you're feeling all fat and all the lights are gone, then that's the time to be bar humbug all you like! This time of year, just really enjoy it.
I guess I know what it's like to be away from your family and I'm not the only one out there. So for those of who are able to be with their loved ones, have a look around to your left and your right. Have a look at you mum and your dad, your brothers and your sisters, your daughters, your sons, your wife, your husband and just enjoy that moment and every moment you have with them."
How did becoming a dad a change your life?
"I certainly got a lot more emotional. I think I used to have a relatively stern kind of impenetrable side but I think that's gone now though".
Here, I started to laugh at Mr Ebeneezer Lynch...
(He was laughing too now)
" No shush now Honeywell, with your laughter, it's definitely gone, no it is, it's gone. I actually get emotional at films and shit now. I probably even shed tears but only when it's relative, like when you see something with a a father and a daughter or a father and a son and you kind of put yourself in those scenarios and you think, ah fucking hell! I definitely get teary about things."
Oh yes, I do believe you because you told me to watch the film' In To The Wild' years ago and you said that made you cry! Tell everyone about that....
"Haha, oh right yeah, there you go! Yes man, so it's definitely changed me for that. Yes, since becoming a dad, I am more emotional as a person, I'm more in touch with feelings and things. Oh and it's slowed me own a bit as well especially now I'm that bit older. I don't want to drive my car so fast. Even when it comes to racing, I don't really race too much anymore. I kind of do shows where it's just for entertainment instead. I don't really want to go any quicker than I'm going. I could probably go quicker, but I just don't want to go quicker. For my girls? Yes,it's because of them and it's just one of those things, I've got to that point in my life where I think, oh you know what, I don't want to do this.... so, I just back off and that doesn't make champions, (he says this laughing a lot), I make a good show man and I'll stick to that."
We finished our chat still laughing about being in our 40's now and hating it and laughing about our time working together. We reminisced about the time Shane drew hairy arms on me with marker pen when I had a really important director in to watch the show, all because I said his tattoos needed some colour. We remembered in gleeful shock, how Shane, his mates and me went sledging down Guildford High Street one night in the snow and we talked about our families and how lucky we were. Then it was time for the show, so we wished him all the best and went off in to the audience to watch a packed out show.
Shane was wonderful on stage and his lovely soul shone out for all to see. I am glad to know such a delightful man and call him my friend (as well as my bitch and my big bro). He is a professional, a gent and definitely one of the good guys.
I thought these lyrics were quite apt. Maybe this is all we need to know about being a parent. From Boyzone Lyrics 'No Matter What'
I can't deny what I believe I can't be what I'm not I know I'll love forever I know no matter what
Thanks Mr Lynch for the festive interview. If you want to see this lovely man on stage in Whitley Bay, book tickets now, you will love him! It closes on the 2nd of Jan 2017 and you can book by clicking on the image below. Don't forget to look out for his new TV series on the National Geographic Channel in April too called 'Super Car Mega Build'. Peace out Mr Lynch. Hope 2017 bring you all the happiness you deserve x