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John Bishop's Ireland – ITV

John Bishop's Ireland
(Image credit: ITV)

The comedian embarks on a 600-mile road trip around the Emerald Isle

The comedian embarks on a 600-mile trip around the Emerald Isle

A cursed football team, a university lecture on faeries, and a fishmonger who made the queen laugh with a mother-in-law joke.

It can only mean one thing: John Bishop is in Ireland and getting to know the locals.

In tonight’s opening episode, the Liverpool-born comedian heads to the sporting event of the year – the All Ireland Football final in Croke Park, Dublin, before travelling south to meet with Gaelic-speaking Irish-American comedian Des Bishop (no relation) in Cork.

John Bishop's Ireland

At Cork University, John gets a lecture in - faeries?

A good-natured, whistlestop tour of modern Ireland with smatterings of history, culture, folklore and John’s observational stand-up, as he tours the country…

TV Times rating: ****

John Bishop's Ireland

John at Croke Park, ready for the big match

Here, John, 52, explains why Ireland will always be special to him…

Why did you want to film your Irish adventures for this documentary?

Ireland is brilliant. It’s the first place that gave me the confidence to do comedy as a proper job. I built up an audience there before I built one up in England. I feel at home there.

Do you have any Irish heritage?

Yes, a few generations away, like my mum’s grandparents and mum.

What was your highlight?

Going to the All-Ireland Gaelic football final between Dublin and Mayo. That has got to be one of the best sporting events I’ve ever been to in my life. The atmosphere was incredible!

You get really involved in local customs – which was the best?

Meeting Willie Daly [in episode two] because he’s so interesting. He’s a matchmaker in Lisdoonvarna.

People looking for love turn up at the yearly Lisdoonvarna Matchmaking Festival, wish on his book and then he matches them up. Brilliant!

Please note this programme airs first in Scotland on Tuesday 23 April at 11.15pm.