Super Brain Blog – Season 3 Episode 12

Super Brain Blog – Season 3 Episode 12

The stabilisers are off with PJ Gallagher

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In this episode I chat to comedian, actor and broadcaster PJ Gallagher 

During this episode we discuss

  • His childhood hero Evil Knievel 
  • His love of anything with two wheels
  • Dicing with death & motor bike racing – as good as it gets
  • Shit shows and standup
  • School
  • Growing up in a ‘mad house’ 
  • Being adopted – taking up someone else’s space
  • Honesty



Watch PJ Gallagher in The Big DIY Challenge

Guest Bio

PJ Gallagher is a much-loved Irish comedian, broadcaster and accomplished actor. He played Principal Walsh in the massively successful television series The Young Offenders on RTÉ and BBC as Principal Walsh. But is probably known most for the hilarious and sometimes outrageous hit TV show Naked Camera and his alter ego Jake Stevens. You can also catch PJ every morning from 6am to 10am on Radio Nova. Most recently he hosts The Big DIY Challenge on RTE

Over to You

If you would like me to take a deeper dive into any of the issues discussed in this episode please do let me know in the comments below.

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PJ Final Mix

Sun, 5/16 5:38PM • 1:09:14


people, fucking, racing, life, day, shit, motorbike, remember, feel, called, grew, stand, brain, house, world, acting, irish, bike, literally, bit


Sabina Brennan, PJ Gallagher


Sabina Brennan  00:01

Hello, and welcome to Super brain, the podcast for everyone with a brain. My name is Sabina Brennan, and my guest today is PJ Gallaher, much loved Irish comedian, broadcaster and actor, best known for his role in The Young Offenders. And for his Naked Camera characters taxi driver, ‘Jake Stevens’, and ‘A dirty aul one’ renowned for sexual innuendo.  You might want to turn the volume down on this episode and turn your attention up to keep up with this one, as PJ and I are both very excitable and have a tendency to talk loudly and speak over each other. So there’s your work. And then there’s stuff that people have written about you


PJ Gallagher  00:45



Sabina Brennan  00:45

and the interviews that you’ve done. And one of them jumped out of me. And that was about the motorbikes because I’m always talking about how people can manage stress or you know,


PJ Gallagher  00:55



Sabina Brennan  00:55

reduce anxiety. And people always say to me, oh, what about meditation? What about this? And I say, No, you’ve got to find something that you love, or you absolutely lose yourself, you’re totally in that. That’s meditation, that’s much easier than siting and actually trying to the meditation


PJ Gallagher  01:12



Sabina Brennan  01:12

And that really jumped out at me because I read the article, because you were saying the first time you got on a motorbike,


PJ Gallagher  01:17

The first time we ever was on a bike, I mean, anything to do with two wheels has always been my way out of anything. Like no matter what it was


Sabina Brennan  01:24

So like a push bike as well,


PJ Gallagher  01:25

anything, the first time it was on two wheels ever, as a young fella, like I’ll never forget the first day the stabilizers came off, you know, I’ll never forget it. Like that was a hugely significant day in my life, you know, the day the stabilizers came off. That sense of freedom, like you and I remember me uncle. What a bastard, when I think of it, like, he put 50 pence on the ground and says, if you can pick that up, cycling past, you can keep it and of course, I near killed myself like,


Sabina Brennan  01:48

Oh, you had to be… So read that alright, but I was thinking the same thing about your uncle, you know. Probably trying to keep you diverted for a long time.


PJ Gallagher  01:55

Like, you know he was just fucking with me


Sabina Brennan  01:57

 I think, you know, it was a different time. It was like you used to, like, you know, see kids get hurt for the crack. You know, it was a different time.  You know, I grew up in a time where you know, now it’s kids aren’t allowed in the house. I wasn’t allowed into the house. Ever, Like I wasn’t allowed into the house that was a fact. Like you actually had to… You’d to play outside.


PJ Gallagher  02:12

It wasn’t play, it was like ‘Get the fuck out of the house’.  You know, your ma was busy. Your parents didn’t want you there. You were under their feet. So


Sabina Brennan  02:18

 Yeah, yeah,


PJ Gallagher  02:18

So nine o’clock on a Saturday morning.


Sabina Brennan  02:19

You were out all day


PJ Gallagher  02:20

‘Get out, get the fuck out’?You know, ‘don’t be underneath me feet.’ So you’re eight years old and you have a bike. So if you’re  eight years old and you have a bike and noone gives a shit where you until the streetlights come on. You have got freedom in your life.


Sabina Brennan  02:32



PJ Gallagher  02:33

And then I started watching Evel Knievel videos


Sabina Brennan  02:36

Oh do ya remember?


PJ Gallagher  02:37

Jesus Christ. I was I never I couldn’t believe it,  it’s still, I would say the greatest influence ever. People look at Evel Knievel and they say he’s the most ridiculous, stupid human being on the face of the earth. He actually never even succeeded in anything he did. This is what I loved about every single major job.


Sabina Brennan  02:53

He’s like your man, Eddie, the Eagle. Do you remember the ski guy?


PJ Gallagher  02:56

Yeah… Eddie the Eagle, like could stand up and go home. Evel Knievel can actually try and  actually live like, you know, he never he would like, ‘if I can just live through this next hour, I will be a millionaire’. Like ‘if I can just …’ So I was never about succeeding. He never wanted to succeed. He just wanted to try and stay the fuck alive for the next 10 minutes. And I remember being obsessed with that idea that this person on a bike could get on a bike and do something, which like, literally take his life in his hands. And if he was alive in 10 minutes time, he was gon na live a different life and this ridiculous man with high heels and a cape and a walking cane, all dressed up. And I was obsessed with it. You know, like, I would always jump on the bike if I wanted to get away from the world. Always jump on a bike. And then my old man got cancer. And he was like, obviously very sick’ cause killed him. Ha So you know what I mean I remember then, being, getting on a bike, a motor bike bike I’m like, you know, months later, like this is in the 90s like, And I got on a bike and.. riding down, here in Clontarf, down Hollybrook Road I got on Jason Byrne’s motorbike and went down. Hollybrook road. I’d never been the motorbike before.


Sabina Brennan  04:01



PJ Gallagher  04:02

And I just remember not feeling sad. Like, I wasn’t happy like


Sabina Brennan  04:06

For the first time – yeah, yeah. Yeah, yeah.


PJ Gallagher  04:11

  But all of a sudden, I had something else I was back on two wheels.


Sabina Brennan  04:16

You can’t ride a motorbike not paying attention, because you’re not going to be alive when


PJ Gallagher  04:21

You can say that but you don’t feel like you’re paying attention there’s something about being in the groove. I think that’s what I loved about racing as well. You’re just get into this place where the only thing that matters, you don’t feel like you’re paying attention at all.  No,  but the only thing that matters is the second in front of your face.


Sabina Brennan  04:36



PJ Gallagher  04:36

that’s all


Sabina Brennan  04:37

No, no, no, you don’t have to actively pay attention. That’s what I’m that’s what I’m always trying to say to people your just doing it


PJ Gallagher  04:43

You’re just trying to stay alive. And I guess that’s what happened with racing. Then ’cause you get when you go from one extreme


Sabina Brennan  04:48

Did you go into racing then?


PJ Gallagher  04:49

Oh, yeah. Yeah, I raced motorbikes for years, then and I always say that they were the best days of my life. In fact, everything else since racing has just been hanging around. It’s not really fun at all. Look, racing was real life like when you’re getting –  leaving a race then on a Sunday, and you genuinely were shitting yourself. Like the fine line between falling off a motorcycle and winning the trophy. The difference that makes You’re like, yeah, like you genuinely could die on a Sunday. Or you could wake up in the morning with a trophy and like the difference that makes your week. Like, you know, that’s all you think about is holy shit, you know?


Sabina Brennan  05:21

So were you wired all the time


PJ Gallagher  05:22

I was wired all the time doing racing. I was wired all the time, but it was… it gave me something to focus on. And that’s all I cared about was racing. I didn’t care about anything else. Now, people say why do you gig, why do you do stand up comedy and everything? To pay for motorbike parts


Sabina Brennan  05:34



PJ Gallagher  05:35

I’ve never liked stand up comedy. Like I think stand up…   like, I wouldn’t go to a stand up gig if you paid me.  I think stand up comedy’s s.. fucking grand, like I only ever did it ’cause I couldn’t do fuck all else, you know. And then…


Sabina Brennan  05:45

But you could race Well like, yeah, but not good enough to make a, like I was good on Irish standards I could win a few races here, but I was never gonna make a full time living out of it. You know, that was the thing. So racing was where I could put my focus into stuff. And then I did a couple of road races and then I had a huge accident in Spain. And that was the end, because I went back to Mondello park briefly and for the first time ever in a race track, I was afraid and when you’re afraid that’s over


PJ Gallagher  06:08

You’re not focused. You’re just afraid, you know?


Sabina Brennan  06:13

Yeah, that’s that’s exactly what I was going to ask you because what’s going through the back of my mind as well. So you’ve  mentioned that the motorbikes and the stand up right, and the motorbike like, my heart is racing at the thought of being on a motorbike like, you know, I be kind of pretty scared about that. But what I find really interesting is you can go that life / death stuff on the motorbike and be excited about it and buzzing, but then you had issues with panic attacks before performing on stage


PJ Gallagher  06:39

Oh, yeah, yeah, yeah. And I still hate performing on stage. Yeah. You know, I always have done so that’s why I’m not doing it. You know?


Sabina Brennan  06:45

Yeah. I understand that. Like,


PJ Gallagher  06:48

But I wasn’t afraid to get killed. I didn’t care. It just was always doing something. They loved you. And so I didn’t care. There was a part of me that was afraid of getting injured.


Sabina Brennan  06:57

How old were you ? Are you talking late teens early 20s?


PJ Gallagher  06:59

No, no I was in my 30s


Sabina Brennan  07:00

Oh, really?


PJ Gallagher  07:01

Yeah. Yeah. No it was right into me mid thirties


Sabina Brennan  07:03

Oh, cuz I was gonna say, you know, your brain hadn’t fully kind of developed in and you wouldn’t be able to assess risk properly.


PJ Gallagher  07:08

No I just didn’t care. I just didn’t care.


Sabina Brennan  07:12

Was it that you didn’t care or you needed that buzz?


PJ Gallagher  07:14

I didn’t care  right ok.


Sabina Brennan  07:15



PJ Gallagher  07:15

No, this was what I wanted to do. I didn’t care. When I have low moments. I often think I wish that was the time I was killed, you know, if I have low moments, that’s what I think because those were the best days of my life. Those are the days that, all that mattered was being on the race track, where I had a single absolute driven focus every weekend, where I would stay fit all through the winter where I would get operations all through the winter, and I could bear them all because I knew I was going to get on the race track again in the summer. Where all that my heart was that one second in front of my face, and that one second behind me. Where I could go out to racetracks and people would get hurt on sometimes I would get very badly hurt but I knew I’d be able to get back on the racetrack. So if you die doing that you don’t give a shit. I know it’s hard for people to understand that don’t do it, but I didn’t care about it. And I guess you look at people who’ve never done anything You think grand you don’t get it.  But my attitude at the time was I would much rather die in a fucked up body now then take a body that’s in really good neck into a grave when I’m eighty years old and feel feel like a totally wasted it. That was the attitude I kind of had


Sabina Brennan  08:15

Yeah, yeah, but but it makes me feel sad to think that you think that was the best?


PJ Gallagher  08:19

That was the best


Sabina Brennan  08:20

because you’re really young


PJ Gallagher  08:22

I know but there’s nothing that will ever beat that.


Sabina Brennan  08:24

No, no, no, no, you can’t you can’t you can’t. So I used to think that


PJ Gallagher  08:28

No nothing will ever beat it. Stand up was never.. gave me the high


Sabina Brennan  08:31

I think you’re just not looking hard enough.


PJ Gallagher  08:33

Well no I’m not looking at all.


Sabina Brennan  08:38

Yeah, well then get looking. So I get a lot of what you’re saying. Right? I used to be an actor, I hated theatre acting I trained from the age of eight. in theater, right?


PJ Gallagher  08:48



Sabina Brennan  08:48

I loved film and television because for me it was about figuring out why and that’s why I’m a psychologist and all that was figuring out why would someone do that and what’s going on in their brain and what you know, I’d be figuring out the inner dialogue and and the the challenge for me was getting inside that and making it work and being it you know, making it believable I didn’t care about applause you know, if I didn’t get it right. I don’t give a shit if y’all stand up and give me a standing ovation. I know I didn’t get it right. So for me it was about understanding it, doing it, getting it right performing it over and done, now give me another piece. I had no desire to do night after night. When I was an actor. I thought that was the only thing that would ever give me the buzz.


PJ Gallagher  09:32



Sabina Brennan  09:33

The happiness the… and I mean


PJ Gallagher  09:35

Well, it probably is What else has? What’s filled it for you like,


Sabina Brennan  09:39

Oh yeah, what I do now what I do now has filled it much more. I was always high as a kite when I was acting.


PJ Gallagher  09:46



Sabina Brennan  09:46

really down low when I wasn’t. And it’s hard to for women as actors like there’s much more parts for guys.


PJ Gallagher  09:52

Ah there is yeah, but then most things are a bit more difficult for women when it comes to performance because you’re judged differently as well. So


Sabina Brennan  09:59

yeah, yeah. Yeah, I remember someone saying to me actually one of the writers of the show about work and he just said to me, like, you’re really great actor, whatever. And I said, Yeah, but it’s really tough. I can’t get any work now after this


PJ Gallagher  10:10



Sabina Brennan  10:10

you know? And he said, Yeah, he said, You’re really hard to cast he says, because you’re not really beautiful and you’re not really ugly. And that’s what the parts for women are you know. – but he was right


PJ Gallagher  10:20

Yeah. Well, he’s not right. He’s full of shit. That’s the full of shit attitude that can be accepted as normal.


Sabina Brennan  10:27

Yeah, yeah


PJ Gallagher  10:28

that’s that’s not a standard I’ve ever been held, you know, would be held to. You know, granted, I’m not going to get Tom Cruise fuckin parts in  Hollywood, you know, I’m not going to be the love interest.


Sabina Brennan  10:36

But why not?


PJ Gallagher  10:36

Why not my face is like someone drew a face on a balloon.  Why not?


Sabina Brennan  10:37



PJ Gallagher  10:38

No its not. Doesn’t matter it’s never gonna be an issue. Yeah, for instance, look at these women stand up that are out there. Now. People will look at me and if they don’t like me, they’ll say you’re shaking your head fat bitch or fucking another unfunny slut or it’s you know what? Oh, yeah, no, no, totally, totally different. A call. She’s a stand up. She can’t get a bloke. Oh, yeah, I have never had that. I’ve been called a fucker and a this and a bollocks, grand, but the standard is totally different. it’s the same with acting, it’s the same with performance. It’s different. Like,


Sabina Brennan  11:15

yeah, it is different. And…


PJ Gallagher  11:17

What am I telling you for you know fucking more than I do


Sabina Brennan  11:19

I know, but it’s nice to see guys recognize it as well. You know, that’s kind of good


PJ Gallagher  11:24

Guys sometimes get upset by it because they take an inference out of it that they haven’t worked as hard as they possibly could. You know, sometimes people say, oh, women have to work harder on lads than see that as ‘so you’re saying I haven’t bust my bollocks to get where I am. No, that’s not what they’re saying.


Sabina Brennan  11:39

It’s not a zero sum game. So


PJ Gallagher  11:40

It’s an added layer of shit


Sabina Brennan  11:43

one thing I wanted to ask you about was your new show. I had a listen. I don’t get up at six o’clock in the morning. You obviously have to get up much earlier than six


PJ Gallagher  11:52

Five Yeah, five


Sabina Brennan  11:53

Oh well that’s not too bad. So I was having to listen to it last night. It’s a new show what I was thinking was your four hours on the radio That’s a lot


PJ Gallagher  12:01

It’s not that long


Sabina Brennan  12:02

Well, yeah, you play music though.


PJ Gallagher  12:03

You play music, there’s news there’s all kinds of things happen you know if you add up what I do it adds up to less than a half an hour or spread over four hours I suppose.


Sabina Brennan  12:11

Shss, don’t let them hear you say that


PJ Gallagher  12:14

No I want to do more but they’re very strict about the time that we put into it


Sabina Brennan  12:17

Are they?


PJ Gallagher  12:17

Yeah, cuz they want to get features and music and news and there’s a license Yes. So you have to abide by the terms your license and all as well. You can’t just do what you want to


Sabina Brennan  12:25

do you are you buzzing when you finish that? Like what do you do with that high when you’re just finished? Are do you not have that No I’ve never had that from performance Wow. Oh, no, never  but did you have that from your motorbike racing?


PJ Gallagher  12:39

Yeah, hugely so yeah. Yeah, hugely. Yeah. And but I never had it from performing or anything. Okay, I get a sense of relief when I do shows thank god that’s wasn’t shite or whatever. Yeah, that’s been my motivation in my life is don’t be shit. Never be brilliant. Never be good, never be the best, never be… just don’t be shit has always been my motivation. So when they do shows like the radio show, it’s always just a feeling of thank. Fuck that. I don’t think that wasn’t shit. That’s great. That’s okay, though.


Sabina Brennan  13:06

You’re very hard on yourself.


PJ Gallagher  13:07

Well, I guess I’ll tell you I suppose you have to be don’t you? Are you’d do nothing at all.


Sabina Brennan  13:11



PJ Gallagher  13:11

There’s so many people I see? When I… nothing frustrates me more when I go to a venue  and somebody gets up and they’ve e done the most mediocre set in the world. And they’re like, That was amazing. You’re like, yeah, okay, fair play. You did it again. That’s my compliment to give people when they think they’re…you know well, you did it again. Again,


Sabina Brennan  13:26

I always – how do you do that when people ask you to go to a show – what am I going to say if they’re crap


PJ Gallagher  13:28

 You did it again. Good for you. I mean, and there’s nothing I hate more than when I know when I did a shit show. Or a walk offstage. It was substandard. And someone goes Oh, that was brilliant. Yeah, fuck off. Yeah, so for me,


Sabina Brennan  13:46

Yeah that really annoyed me. Yeah that’s so insincere


PJ Gallagher  13:51

Whenever I did stand up, and whoever I was doing the gigs with be it Joanne McNally, I’ll be it john Lean or any of those those people I will always tell them. This is the last joke I’m going to do this night, when they start this joke, open the back door and start to car. So that I would be able to do it, walk out the back door to open the car and be the first person to the venue. Every single night.


Sabina Brennan  14:12

You couldn’t wait to get away?


PJ Gallagher  14:13

No couldn’t wait to get away.


Sabina Brennan  14:15

So it’s like torture,


PJ Gallagher  14:16

torture, torture.


Sabina Brennan  14:18



PJ Gallagher  14:19

So I mean,


Sabina Brennan  14:20

you must do you know, people listening to this who’d be dying to be stand up or people dying to be actors … are probably kinda going fuckin hell.


PJ Gallagher  14:28

I know


Sabina Brennan  14:29

Maybe because you care less. You see, I think often people get in their way of themselves performing. Because it matters too much. Do you know what I mean? So they kind of


PJ Gallagher  14:37

Yeah, I guess. And I’ve seen people do does. I’m not gonna say names, but I know someone in particular, who does that they torture themselves into ruining their performance.


Sabina Brennan  14:46



PJ Gallagher  14:47

but it’s not that I care less like, hey, like I care too much about the responsibility of it. So when somebody pays in to see your show, for me on a Friday night, it’s Vicar Street. It’s a random Friday in March, whatever. They pay in and straight away I think if I don’t do the best show they’ve ever seen I’ve fucked up their weekend, and nothing will ever make me not feel that, that’s what I feel. I’m like, these fucking people have lives. There’s 1100 of them Vickar Street. So there’s 1100 people out there who need me to have the best show they’ve ever seen, or their hard lives weekend now was fucked. I’ve ruined their weekend.


Sabina Brennan  15:22

I don’t know,


PJ Gallagher  15:23

I can’t help it. It’s exactly how we feel.


Sabina Brennan  15:26

But you can switch that


PJ Gallagher  15:26

So when the show is over, you know, the show has been amazing. And I’ll be honest with you, I think most of mine are I’m very competitive.


Sabina Brennan  15:34



PJ Gallagher  15:34

I think most of them are amazing shows. I don’t enjoy a second of them till I get in the car. And I go to fuck home. And I go to bed. And I’m glad it’s over that;s always the way it’s okay.


Sabina Brennan  15:46

So it’s like you’re punishing yourself. So you’re only taking the negative?


PJ Gallagher  15:50

Well, I’m not only taking the negative I’m getting paid


Sabina Brennan  15:52

No. But you’re not saying that. Actually, those people in the audience, you could have made their weekend and you made them laugh. You gave them something to laugh about for the first time in six months?


PJ Gallagher  16:01

Yeah I know. But you have to do it again then on the Saturday and the Sunday. So let’s see, you know, you can’t


Sabina Brennan  16:05

Ah yeah, you can.


PJ Gallagher  16:06

I don’t think you can


Sabina Brennan  16:08

you can


PJ Gallagher  16:09

It gets worse every year. So I did that show, the RTE show Stage Fright the documentary,


Sabina Brennan  16:15



PJ Gallagher  16:15

And I thought maybe I’d knocked it on the head. But it turned out wI was just rehearsing the show as I was going and I felt it was better. And then I had to start writing a show again. And it just was back to square one.


Sabina Brennan  16:24

This is like the kind of panic attacks before doing it. Is it?


PJ Gallagher  16:27

just a dread of the whole entire experience. So for me, like I’ve only ever been?


Sabina Brennan  16:30

Why? Well, the reason I’m gonna say why do it I presume The answer is for the money


PJ Gallagher  16:34

I’ve always been shit at the things I like doing I’m pretty good at things I have no interest in. See, I’m always saying and it’s this is genuinely very, very true with me. And like I was saying to you Don’t be shit was my motivation. I never wanted to even be brilliant or the best at anything. I was fucking shit at almost everything I put my hand to. So I was terrible in school. Bar English. I was terrible at sports. I wanted to play for the Dubs. I wanted to play sports. I couldn’t catch a ball to save me life. My hands are literally ornamental. I mean my best. You know, I was tired of all these teams. Everything I did. I was told her body was most of them. Can’t do anything else, no that’s it  No.


Sabina Brennan  16:37

What about the acting That doesn’t mean that you were actually terribly


PJ Gallagher  17:15

lost. Oh, no, I was I didn’t care what it was. I just wanted to be good. at something I know that we will stand up. Yeah, I got the validation of it’s fine. You can be good at this.


Sabina Brennan  17:28

Yeah. So can I just explain something to you there then. Because this is the sort of next book I want to write is how we construct who we are and our sense of self right? So your brain makes up who you are right? From all the information that can get everywhere, there’s no independent self, you’ll have some sort to trade your your


PJ Gallagher  17:47

your the story, you tell yourself your


Sabina Brennan  17:48

the stories you tell yourself or the stories that other people tells you. So your brain literally takes information from all over the place through the course of your life. And that becomes who you think you are. Yeah, whatever, would like loads of that information is wrong. And loads of it is outdated. So you’re like you’re operating on a story of yourself from when you were a kid that you were told you were crap, but everything that you did, but


PJ Gallagher  18:12

it wasn’t just I was told it was my experience of it as well.


Sabina Brennan  18:14

Yeah. But what I’m trying to say is like, I’m older than you. So I don’t know how to change much by the time you kind of came along to school, but like, our teachers were in not in the business of boosting your self esteem are telling you you were good. They were in the businesses of keeping you under control. I’m


PJ Gallagher  18:31

telling ya, we’re terrible. Yeah, well, yeah, everything I was half decent, that was seen as disruptive in school. Yeah, you know, on the idea of having to sit down and work is fundamentally not something I am able to do. I can’t do it. For me to do anything productive. I have to be on my feet and moving around. And it’s loud, and it makes noise. And so that was never valued. You know?


Sabina Brennan  18:51

No. And you see, so if you watch kids learn and write toddlers, they explore the world with all of their senses. Everything goes in their mouth, they smell it, they taste it, they roll in it, you know, they just use everything. And that’s how they learn, right? And that’s how all of us learn when we go to school. And we’ve decided we want to control children. And so you tell them cross your arms Don’t, don’t stand don’t sit. And that’s torture for some kids. And actually, it’s just not good for your brain. So basically what happens is, we all turn into these underperforming creatures who really can only learn through hearing and listening and neurone value through that when there’s like all this other stuff. So I’m always trying to encourage people, you know, if you want to improve your memory, if you want to improve how your brain works, take in all of your senses. I guess you don’t know, I’m just calculus.


PJ Gallagher  19:41

Right? So you can’t do that. So I’m just saying just the numbers essentially, and I left school at 16. But I think if I hadn’t left school, I probably would have ended up in jail. So like I know if I had stayed in school, it would have been the road to ruin because I was so miserable in school, like nothing God was ever gonna come out of that situation. You know,


Sabina Brennan  20:00

yeah, so, but that’s the teachers that’s down to the teachers in the school and the system. It is it is because you should be trying to find what someone’s good at. You know, it’s like forcing square pegs into round holes. That’s why when people say to me, like I did really, really well at university, right, and people say, Oh my God, that’s brilliant. I said, No, it’s something I found easy. Actually, it was my training as an actor. I worked in soap, so I had to learn tons of scripts. Yeah, over and over again. I went to uni, it just had to learn tons of stuff and regurgitate it Okay, yeah, I have to be able to understand it and all the rest, but it’s just society just puts a value on that. It doesn’t mean it’s any better than


PJ Gallagher  20:41

Well, it also saves me a lot actually. Because it’s so overvalued with some so I have nephews who play sport and whatever. And this participation level fucking bullshit really gets to me because I went to school with lads who were really challenged when it came to certain subjects in school. If school didn’t suit you the only 20 of us in school and did everything they could do just put wrap a chain around the door and just ignore us. Yeah. And then you will go out and put these lads had a way to prove themselves. Yeah, yeah, playing sport. You could see talents shine and trill and some of these notes when I look back on it now, and I know some of them ended up on drugs or they just you know, nothing ever came up. Yeah. So you don’t give anyone a participation Medal from Max. You know, or science. Yeah. Or Ganesh or even TNR he get the audition you get you pass the test. He gets it or not. And then everyone goes out into a different field. And then it’s not finally to the point are fairplay sure everyone gets to have a game everyone gets it. Yeah, that’s not the way you know, I don’t believe it should be like that. You should be equally as rewarding. I’m like a read that annoys me. And yeah, yeah, I I think there’s just key values here. All right. This is how you fight gets to one stage winner. Here we go. I’m better at yesterday. Yeah. And then you’re told I know, everyone gets emails. Now. This is an important. Yeah, this is all been taken apart. This isn’t the belshe Yeah, Excel.


Sabina Brennan  21:56

What do you see? You do it the other way? Or else you say? Well, actually, you don’t have to get 10 out of 10. In your spelling test. It’s all about taking part.


PJ Gallagher  22:04

It gets 10 deserves to be celebrated.


Sabina Brennan  22:08



PJ Gallagher  22:10

Oh, my gosh, you should be acknowledged. You know, I’m all about winning chess, you know, to play the game, but you shouldn’t like if you play fair bluff if you get something else. Well, congratulations. But the winners.


Sabina Brennan  22:23

I think the thing is, though, everybody’s good at something. It just that the school system doesn’t look for that. Did you grow up in Qatar? Oh, no. I


PJ Gallagher  22:30

grew up Marino and then contact. So because I grew up. You know, I grew up in a in a really strange situation. Yes,


Sabina Brennan  22:35

I do. You said that your house was like a university for comedy. Well, we were part of a social experiment.


PJ Gallagher  22:42

Yeah. So I was adopted for. And then I ended up with me, folks. I was six months in foster care, and fingerless, and then I went to Ruby folks. And then dows became a part of what was a social experiment at the time. What happened was the Eastern Health Board at the time and our wisdom decided that there was going to be this, you know, into the community type of idea. I can’t.


Sabina Brennan  23:03

So the Eastern Health Board for listeners in the UK is like the NHS or a wall. Yeah.


PJ Gallagher  23:10

Yeah, yeah, we have the HSE was like a regional sort of thing. So and so they had this idea that people who had, you know, severe mental illnesses at the time, they report into houses around the country. Now, there was only a handful of places in the country this happened. And just I’ll hop on a handful. I mean, like, five or something. Yeah. So we ended up with six people who had schizophrenia living in their house had schizophrenia. Yeah. So six people who are schizophrenia lived in our house. So it was like mee mee, mee mah, my sister in the dog, and six people with schizophrenia. So I wrote a show about and it’s called mad house because I literally cannot explain it any other way. So I lived almost all of my childhood in this experience. And so was I ever going to be a doctor after that? I don’t think so. Definitely. Definitely. I met a fella recently, but you just mental health talk that Ted formatos disco a great guy, Ted for him. And he used to play for the dogs and he has this mental health night for lads. Right. And I was on having a chat about Tatiana talk with the lads there. And there was a lot that goes I was past that scheme as well. I grew up on that scheme. And he goes, would you ever think of working in the mental health business? Oh, just because he’s a psychiatric nurse. That was I have no idea how you did that. Because I couldn’t get away from a quick enough. Yeah, I’m like, he was like, No, no, he was compelled to stay with us his whole life. I was like, Man, you haven’t. I know how you did that. I couldn’t get away from it quick enough. Like I was just get me out of this. How many years was it like was this years? It was like 14 years or something? Yeah, it was long, like right through my childhood. And I


Sabina Brennan  24:46

presume these people were medicated and they were feel really sorry for them. This is just just the team mental health as


PJ Gallagher  24:53

a ward. Yeah, this is a new war. You know yourself. This wasn’t a phrase when I was growing up in the Do you want mental or your heart health? There was no mental health. So they were seen as mental.


Sabina Brennan  25:05

Yeah, no, it was terrible. We were very, very own PC. And we said, like, as you said, that Madhouse thing just, that’s a very common phrase in Ireland, people say, Oh, we grew up in tomatoes, tomatoes. And it just means you had a chaotic house. It was never intended that way. But that’s the only


PJ Gallagher  25:24

thing we all know.


Sabina Brennan  25:27

We did like I mean, it was awful, like psychiatric institutions were like called mad houses. And


PJ Gallagher  25:34

yeah, we’re terrible on people. And around our role, though, a call that I had was to know Hey, listen, you know, all of the you know, the common term, like very normal terms. Yeah, mine’s a new bar. Yeah, yeah. That was very normal towards a phrase, you know? Yeah. Back in the days where we used to refer to mental illness with the most passive weird way it’s never like, oh, James. Yeah, he’s taken to the bed or his nerves around him is massively suicidal, couldn’t leave the house for it his nerves around like he’s fucking nerves, or I’m celebrating people who had serious problems like buying buying on 40 Colts and Suzie Mossad is famous toggling characters who became part of the fabric of the city we live in. And there are people who are nowadays I would never you would never have somebody walking around. Terrible.


Sabina Brennan  26:21

Yeah, it’s very different world today. It is now and they’re still like,


PJ Gallagher  26:24

I think when it comes to that sort of car you see on this thing, I still worry today because with me, I hear mental health, mental health, mental health, and it doesn’t mean anything. It’s like saying physical health


Sabina Brennan  26:35

  1. Yeah.


PJ Gallagher  26:36

So for people I grew up with, I think would feel very excluded by the mental health thing today, it seems to refer to depression and anxiety, that’s depression, anxiety, things that really are killers. They kill lads. Especially you need to talk about these things. But we focus so much on that. I grew up with fellas who used to see his dead brother in the show. Yeah, start his dead brother was haunting him calling him a bastard and beating them in the sleep used to wake up picking up another like he wanted to get a dog in his fucking stomach, like these people are still completely No, we’re not talking about these people, these people,


Sabina Brennan  27:07

because that’s


PJ Gallagher  27:08

real and Madeline’s are not part of this conversation.


Sabina Brennan  27:12

There’s one issue I have with the way it’s gone. And it speaks exactly to what you’re saying. And that is that depression and anxiety, they run on a continuum. So we can all feel a bit depressed and anxious. And yet, it’s really important to talk about it before it spirals down. What’s happened a little bit is because everybody’s very open about talking about Oh, I’ve dealt with anxiety, or I’ve had panic attacks, or I’ve had the people who are looking at that who have much more severe stuff are kind of going well, no, hold on. I can’t even leave my house. Yeah. Not hard to these people.


PJ Gallagher  27:48

Obviously, completely mad.


Sabina Brennan  27:50

I can’t leave my house. I can’t even go on social media. I wouldn’t even be able to wash my hair and put makeup on


PJ Gallagher  27:56

my pink. Ray. We’re in the Arctic yesterday trying to you know, these are things that remember people genuinely thinking in our house.


Sabina Brennan  28:02

Yeah, well, that’s schizophrenia. So but I mean, eating disorders are in there as well, and personality disorders. And, you know, they’re serious stuff. But I also do think that there’s much more serious clinical depression, you know, where people really literally can’t function. You don’t identify with that sort of more public face of all I’ve lived with depression we all have. It’s a normal human feeling. Do you know what I mean? It doesn’t have to end your life. And that’s why it’s important to talk about it because we can pull ourselves out of it. But I want to talk to you actually about been adopted. So you told all along that you were adopted.


PJ Gallagher  28:37

Oh, yeah, we always knew. I remember finding out where people weren’t coming as a shock. I was in belgrove. I was chatting to a fella called on conference his name, and I was sitting there chatting to him. I can’t remember all the conversations go on. You know, when these significant moments happen in your life, you never know what happened on the laughter Yeah, it’s after so but remember just the moment I became aware that he was still with the parents the hug him. I remember initially thinking the poor bastard like the fucking like they couldn’t find anyone to take him. You know? Cuz me it was like they found your parents and then you grew up with your parent. Yeah, yeah. So whoever sees the story we tell ourselves, just remember that happening?


Sabina Brennan  29:18

Do you think that’s part of where your comedy comes from? Like, you’re a great mimic. Is that a right way to say it? You’re great at imitating people’s voices and all that to just start young?


PJ Gallagher  29:27

Yeah, yeah. Did Yeah.


Sabina Brennan  29:29

Yeah. Yes. It was finding something you were good at that made people laugh.


PJ Gallagher  29:32

Yeah. But again, for all that time, you weren’t good at something that was just causing fucking trouble for people. That was the problem like, Oh, yeah, that would have been the same as saying he’s really good at taking heroin or he’s really good at drinking like it was that destructive in the environment. I was so you were


Sabina Brennan  29:47

giddy. Yeah. You know


PJ Gallagher  29:48

what I mean? Well, yeah. And genuinely, teachers would have hated me and you know why you would hate a damn and I would have hated the confines of the school and they wished I wasn’t there. And,


Sabina Brennan  29:56

you know, when we grew up, like everyone was You have to remember to


PJ Gallagher  30:01

never forget all this you these are the best days your life. Right now. They were awash with 60 I’m like, I’m getting the fuck out. waste. I never looked back. never looked back. I do think it’s probably the day was sheer.


Sabina Brennan  30:21

It’s just the game you have to play. I let you tell this story, but you had a lovely mom and dad growing up, you know real drive to find your birth parents. No, yeah,


PJ Gallagher  30:33

no, not really.


Sabina Brennan  30:34

Did you imagine like, I remember talking to Joanna like, and she was imagining that she was part of this amazing acting dynasty.


PJ Gallagher  30:42

Now we’re very different takes on it. I think because I look back at my childhood and I have no real positive childhood memories. So I look back and I remember being very angry over angry that you were adopted. Yeah. Well, yeah. Angry data was adopted in the world and angry at all the world around me and I remember being very fuckin angry over. I remember at one stage having these talks on find a Monday and I’ll get my own back. That was


Sabina Brennan  31:06

so angry with them. I know.


PJ Gallagher  31:08

Damn. But I grew up every day. I agree with your mom. Yeah. Where are you everyone? Yeah. You’re reaching close to your mom. On we’re very close now. Yeah, yeah. But not always. No, no, he was close to anyone. Okay, okay. No, I misunderstood. Jesus. No, not at all. No comedy until the 90s. It sounds ridiculous. We live in the same house. But we didn’t know each other with each other.


Sabina Brennan  31:34

I don’t think my mother ever knew who I was ever. It wasn’t who you were, you just


PJ Gallagher  31:39

had to behave almost like that. Anyways, I was always in trouble. I was always very rebellious. I was never fit in. And nothing was really expected of me either. You know, so I guess. Yeah, I was just very angry. You know? Yeah. So I’m saying that was angry bird parents, but no more angry than anybody else. So, you know, it’s just full of hate when I was a young fella, you know, I was just so fucking angry all the time. Yesterday, he hated being able to control you know, not having any say in anything in my life. It drove me insane. You


Sabina Brennan  32:07

have to connect with lamsa say, he has this lovely line, because he was angry. And he says anger is just an emotion in search of love. I’m sorry, I’d love but that’s what it was.



Yeah, you know,


Sabina Brennan  32:18

I just think it’s a great way to look at it, you know, that it’s just there was something amiss. And that I mean, I think that’s with any kids that are acting out, or there’s something not right, you need to try and figure out what it is, instead of punishing the anger. You need to find out what’s going on in there. Like, yeah,


PJ Gallagher  32:33

I guess so. But then I wouldn’t let you eat or you know, you wouldn’t have got in even now, I won’t let anyone in. Like that’s never got, that’s not a thing that’s ever gonna happen.


Sabina Brennan  32:41

Why you are too much.


PJ Gallagher  32:43

I just don’t think I could do it now. And because I’m so used to and I don’t think I’ll ever want to do it. Now. It’s just not attaining. For me. I’ve never really felt I fit in with anyone or in any place. So like, for instance, like, a lot of times people say, Oh, you know, do your fucking great the charity work you do. And all right. I never avoid that narrative. Because for me, it’s nothing except trying to justify why I get to get up and breathe every day. And other people don’t. That’s all it is. Because I still feel like a fucking accident. And that’s never gonna go away. That’s just now I know, you can say whatever you


Sabina Brennan  33:18

want, if you man, like an accident, because I


PJ Gallagher  33:22

shouldn’t be here. I’m taking up someone else’s space. No, this is exactly exactly how I feel about myself. I’ll never change. I’ve had all the reasoning for this, though. But I’ll never believe it. And you’ll


Sabina Brennan  33:35

never change unless you decide you want to change. So I’ll never cheat. Yeah.


PJ Gallagher  33:38

So I always feel like that. So when I do charity work, whenever it’s just trying to fit in for a day or a minute or a week. That’s all it is. But trying to feel like you’re maybe contributing something rather than just taking all the time. Yeah. So when I was born, I was given away when I wanted to build a house. Other people have priorities. When I went to school, I was told I was terrible. I didn’t fit in. When I went to work. I wasn’t great. When I had passions for things in life. I couldn’t pull it off. So all these things in my life, I’ve always felt like I’m in the way I’m taking up a space that doesn’t belong to me. That’s always the way it is. It probably comes from being adopted. I don’t fucking know. I can only tell you that’s what I think. Yeah. So when they do these charity things, that’s the motivation behind so it’s selfish in itself. Oh,


Sabina Brennan  34:22

I totally agree. I do loads of pro bono stuff. And I don’t even see that as boasting. It makes me feel good. I don’t believe in altruism. It doesn’t mean you do stuff because it makes you feel good so I just think that’s just being honest. I do stuff because it makes me feel good. I was actually talking to Tom dawn and we were actually talking about doing stuff for free. Right now I’ll give a talk No, it’s fine. You do for free right and I have a fee then for my corporate stuff is how I earn my living costs and other people will ask you and they’ll say someone throws you 50 quid and you feel like it’s much easier to do it for free room that now rounded now either you give me me full Be? Yeah, if you turn around and give me an insulting amount, do you not realize that I just spent 10 hours preparing this via and at least I got the pleasure. Oh, yeah,


PJ Gallagher  35:08

I did it for you. I did


Sabina Brennan  35:10

it for free. You’ve kind of wrecked it. We all do it because we get something out of it or it eases some conscience or it just makes us feel good. It doesn’t matter. It’s benefiting someone else. And doesn’t matter what your motivation is, if someone else is benefiting from it, it’s good. And the thing is, with kindness, if you engage in an act of kindness to someone, you get a benefit, they get a benefit. But if someone witnesses an act of kindness, they’re more likely to engage in an act of kindness. It’s actually really funny. Yeah. Yeah. You know,


PJ Gallagher  35:41

Yeah, I think so. Yeah.


Sabina Brennan  35:42

Anyway, so you have overcome so many things. So you got it. You got a sort of genetic form of


PJ Gallagher  35:50

Oh, I got this thing called Reuter syndrome. So hasn’t


Sabina Brennan  35:52

that cleared up for you? Or does it still fly one


PJ Gallagher  35:54

of the lucky ones it cleared, it went, it’s a type of arthritis, and you can get it in your feet and your hands whenever I get pain. I’ll never forget the pain. There. So it’s doing a gig in Cork. And remember, Arianna, Barbara, and the next day be in so much pain. So I still don’t know if that was thinking about what I


Sabina Brennan  36:12

did. That’s it. It can be triggered by


PJ Gallagher  36:16

Yeah, yeah. Yeah. Yeah, yeah. Anyway, I went to the doctor, and the doctor said, he was asked me like, you know, is it in your family course adopted? I don’t know. Is that history of heart disease? Or you don’t know, cancer? I don’t know. Like, you start realizing I literally don’t know what I’m made of, but don’t know what I’m made of. Now, I’m not one of these people who says I don’t know who I am. I’ve never that’s never been the challenge for me, thankfully. Yeah, people are not as lucky in their sense of identity. They feel lost. I’m not that person. I just didn’t know what it was made. Oh, yeah. Yeah, exactly. On my unfairness tour has always said, you have to find where you’re from. She says if you are born under a rock in Killarney, I don’t know why you remember that one time. You have to find that rock she goes. And that was what started me looking, wanting to find a selfish reason. Again, it was I just want to find out what is my medical history, like


Sabina Brennan  37:07

what is wishes, if there’s something wrong with that, there’s nothing wrong with that.


PJ Gallagher  37:11

I know. But I knew I


Sabina Brennan  37:15

didn’t need to be qualified as selfish. It just I wanted to the


PJ Gallagher  37:18

same time though, I kind of knew it was gonna disrupt other people’s lives and wants to say I started you can start by what became about something different, very, very quick. It became about Who are these people? And, you know, I want to know who these people are. And it all right. And so why is their lives and hopefully they are okay. And as you get older, you get a bit more understanding about the world. Really? Yeah, it’s not black and white, even though you’re still I still struggle with that. So the genuine desire to find out who they were, as well, as well, I started to mail. And then To be honest, I have a very, very quick for me, you know, I literally went to the adoption agency and sailed down the street and said conference calls and says, I want to do this. They said write a letter. Oh, you already knew I had two brothers and two sisters. You already knew that. Yeah, I knew this for years. I don’t know, at a point. My parents knew enough. To this day. I don’t know. But they told me your brothers and sisters. And one of the things my mom always used to tell me was you really need to find your family because you could be out there on a football pitch or whatever. And you and your product will be punched in the fucking heads off each other. And you’d never know each other exists. So she was a must have no she did not. Yes. She told me your brothers and sisters out there. Like she told me this.


Sabina Brennan  38:27

How did she know? How did she get that information? And you know me, me my never talk with this. Why don’t you ask her?


PJ Gallagher  38:33

I wouldn’t. Why don’t we just don’t talk but ah, ah,


Sabina Brennan  38:37

Look, my parents are gone. Yeah, I can’t ask any questions. And it’s only after they’re gone. You go. I should have asked, I should ask your haftar. She won’t mind. You can always say, look, you don’t have to answer this question. But how do you know I had


PJ Gallagher  38:50

brothers? Yeah. Okay. I’ll ask her today. I don’t really want to know


Sabina Brennan  38:58

this, because I kind of think I have to say when I kind of heard this first that you went looking for your mom, I suppose is what most people tend to do first and in your head, you somehow. I mean, we’re


PJ Gallagher  39:08

still together, like new doctors. Well,


Sabina Brennan  39:10

you knew that earlier. So I thought I think there’s one newspaper article that I read. It just shows you never believe and you read in the press where you talk about your mom was maybe a single mom.


PJ Gallagher  39:19

No, no, that’s not me. No, that wasn’t my story at all. No rice. No, I knew they were together. I knew there was a family


Sabina Brennan  39:25

just that makes it much harder.


PJ Gallagher  39:27

Do you think automated easy teases. Yeah, I think to be honest, my way of finding people as as easy as it can be, because I knew they were all right. I knew they were still together. I knew they had a family, you know


Sabina Brennan  39:39

that they have this family unit and then you were elsewhere. Like not great. I mean, it’s


PJ Gallagher  39:43

still put like every other thing that’s happened to me life I was the black sheep. So whatever, you know, like it’s not


Sabina Brennan  39:49

nobody new. Like that’s a mantle that you’ve assumed in a way because people said all that shy, like, but like you were an infant, and you were the first They were too young. Is that what it was? They gotta


PJ Gallagher  40:02

look, it’s 1970s Yeah, west of Ireland. It just wasn’t attain, you couldn’t do us you weren’t married, it was as simple as that. They were of Good Standing in the community. And I don’t want to tell their story, but it just wasn’t going to be a team. So, you know, the mother and baby homes, let’s face it, they were pretty full. You know, this is how we’re involved. You know? Absolutely. Your social standing. I think people now just don’t understand the social pressures of us. You know, so nude was, but yeah, but then again, best friends are still open, you know, when you start showing like nobody inherited bedspread, like he couldn’t believe that it was a thing. It was so weird. Like, a couple of months ago. You know, all the news came out. I was getting all these text messages for people like you all right, you know, this news and click but this is nothing new to me. Yeah. This is nothing new to me. Like, this has been my story for the last 45 years.


Sabina Brennan  40:51

Yeah, yeah. Yeah,


PJ Gallagher  40:52

I understand. You’re upset. And I was there. And it was like, Don’t focus me on this. There’s people who remembers my sister, but it’s not my memories. I don’t have memories. These are not mine. Like not for me, like older people have memories of it.


Sabina Brennan  41:07

And I think it’s hard for people to understand, like, we were more like commodities are different. Now we kids like


PJ Gallagher  41:14

it’s like, you know, I hear my friends and all that have kids. And they say, oh, why didn’t you never want to have kids and they just didn’t want to have the experience. You know, we only have negativities child, and they’re like, y’all went off. But when you see them, your life is different. And it’s never the same again, again, maybe it is for you. But I’ve seen so many examples to say the opposite that that is just not the truth. I mean, I’m delighted. That’s your truth. Yeah, I really am. Because you and your kids are gonna be very happy to get well like the amount of lads I grew up putting stuff on. pricks to them, they could be aware that their children lived in the same house like it was


Sabina Brennan  41:50

was very different because we weren’t parented like we were given orders and things that you have to do and more time you had to be in it on what to do, but there was no actual parenting. There was no giving you advice on how to navigate the world.


PJ Gallagher  42:03

It was a playdate You see? Honestly, honestly, like there’s no way like to go back to what we said at the start. You weren’t allowed in your own house. make deals and then the like documents the same as she had like, although they weren’t looking after you know, they would that was the way it was the world. That was the one that was Yeah, they were doing as good as anybody else. You can be sure laughs


Sabina Brennan  42:26

Yeah, yeah, that’s why I do think like it’s mad for women again, going back to the women thing like, why mom didn’t have a job. Our job was raising kids, but like,


PJ Gallagher  42:35

we have women got married to have to leave their job.


Sabina Brennan  42:39

So old is your mom that you grew up with shady trees? Right? trade and then is your birth mother much younger? Yeah,


PJ Gallagher  42:46

yeah, go bit younger. Yeah, I couldn’t tell you what he has. But she’s younger. Yeah.


Sabina Brennan  42:50

which had been in her teens when she had I think she was 21 maybe something nice okay. Yeah,


PJ Gallagher  42:54

yeah, not sure to be honest. Like I’m


Sabina Brennan  42:57

not curious.


PJ Gallagher  43:00

Yeah, like


Sabina Brennan  43:02

anything I think that


PJ Gallagher  43:04

it’s hard to I can talk about my own experience of these things no problem. Yeah, no problem. This is totally alright to me. There’s no difficulty but I can never really ask anyone else I don’t know what that is for me and me and me my ex we’re still married but you know me x Elaine she’s still my best friend in the world so it’s totally grand but she’s she was so curious used to make me uncomfortable. So me and me various motor on Elaine will be unrelated be like what he and what was it like? Yeah, I tell us I might be like just taking a shirt off. I don’t know why the anxiety of hearing the information used to kill me unsealed I still is somebody who’s not doesn’t volunteer it and they don’t want me to don’t


Sabina Brennan  43:41

make that assumption. No, don’t make that assumption because they could be dying for you to ask and they could be gone. Why is he no interest in it?


PJ Gallagher  43:48

Why does he know you’re probably really


Sabina Brennan  43:50

hopefully THE COMPLETE REVERSE. And so the two he is they’re doing the opposite thing.


PJ Gallagher  43:54

I was living I grew up there. I was born you never spoke?





PJ Gallagher  43:56

So did you do your sister was adopted? Today and tomorrow we’ll all wake up. pretend nothing happened. That was my gift. No matter what happened. You never referred back


Sabina Brennan  44:05

to your sister was adopted as well. She was Yeah. And did you get on with her? Oh,


PJ Gallagher  44:08

you got to know my sister recently, right? We didn’t know each other like we live separate lives. Like I got up and went out. And she


Sabina Brennan  44:16

Yeah, no.


PJ Gallagher  44:18

And there she is Castaway. How she reacted he experienced were the only two people we know that lived his, you know, experiences, you know? And how she reacted like she from the start. She was like, I’m gonna have on she still says a million kids. I’m gonna have a million fucking kids. She goes a million kids. I’m gonna have a million of them. And she got married and she’s three kids and she has a dog. And she’s like, I want more on her husband goes Oh, caught me flew all over the wall. If you ever got pregnant again, I’ll tell him. I’m castrating myself. He’s like unwitnessed is never happening again. And that was her reaction was to run headlong into a family she could make hard on only alone on half that Yeah, where it was like get that for you Yeah I’m still running always gonna be running yeah but


Sabina Brennan  45:04

the thing is when you run you’re always gonna take yourself which way for yourself


PJ Gallagher  45:08

like I realized I had a very strange when we perception was because it was so angry all the time dark when it came to fight or flight I was always fight but I wasn’t I was always fly or you will cut the cord on teams quicker than anyone you know in your life I will caught the car because the car is too much buying if you don’t vary too much. I have never I never fight with people more than once relying gone. Really? Yeah. never fight with people more than once like the social CSRS comes down buying the car to school. The short has come down and that’s it.


Sabina Brennan  45:38

And is it because it hurts too much? or what have you done? No,


PJ Gallagher  45:41

no, you’re done. You know, I


Sabina Brennan  45:45

don’t have a crystal ball. I’m just really interested in like, a lot of what we do is a learned behavior. It just worked that way. So you just said a minute ago in our heads if we had arrived nobody mentioned it again. Never mentioned that, you know, but you were stuck in the same house. So it’s kind of maybe


PJ Gallagher  45:59

that was a valuable piece.


Sabina Brennan  46:00

So now you kind of go off. Always be fighting with Oh God, I


PJ Gallagher  46:04

never thought Oh, I try not to show them you know, oh, no problem grant and that you’ll never hear from me


Sabina Brennan  46:09

again. So you mentioned that you had a fair few injuries from the motorbike. I read somewhere that you have migraine. Or


PJ Gallagher  46:18

Yeah, I haven’t timecard I haven’t had them in year Sealy years. I can’t get to the bottom of why they went away, please. They stay away. Thank God for now, please. Hopefully they never come back again. The pain the agony of them was unbelievable.


Sabina Brennan  46:30

I have chronic daily migraine. So daily. Yeah, yeah, yeah, yeah, no.


PJ Gallagher  46:36

There have been a long time. It’s great. A long time. I’m obviously doing something different. Yeah.


Sabina Brennan  46:42

Well, I mean, yeah, there can also be changes in your body as well, like hormones kind of affected. And hormones change. And everybody like yeah, I’m an


PJ Gallagher  46:50

alpha now so different, you know? Things are different. sounds different. Yeah.


Sabina Brennan  46:55

Guys have hormonal changes as well. And actually, we just don’t know as much about guys, hormonal changes, because most of the research has been done on women because like, we have crazy just when it comes to hormones, you know, something that really, really annoys me is people say they have migraine when they have a hangover or just


PJ Gallagher  47:13

Yeah, the Irish way is revert to the war. You know what I mean? It’s like somebody was, you know, obsessive compulsive disorder. And someone goes Ah, tell me about I can’t do what humans love to get. Oh, no, you don’t actually cleaning or Yeah, you know, people who have a hangover and say, I’m fucking dying. Jesus, I’m dying. The Irish way is to go. I’m literally starving. No, you’re literally not hungry. It’s the Irish way you deal with things


Sabina Brennan  47:41

I have to say. I think you’re very brave. I just have to tell the listeners about hey, this guest came back.


PJ Gallagher  47:48

Yeah, I was a cost. This was like pretty much it was borderline kidnapping. I was just getting out I just got on the car and I was walking into the house and then you and I go and come here. I’ll do a podcast. I was like, What the heck is this? Like? Yeah, I do a podcast and then she goes on not mental and like as we know the one sign of somebody who’s dangerous and mental is somebody that calls on not mental when they’re at your house to fuck is this and you’re like I do a podcast now don’t and even though it was he said don’t take our minds I’m a neuroscientist. Nothing about this makes sense. Now. I’ve interviewed Joe McNally. Where are we going with this? And then can I have your contact details? Or you can


Sabina Brennan  48:34

I could have been I mean as you said well I didn’t know


PJ Gallagher  48:39

I was like right to ignore this certainly Google this person I was like Oh, she is actually a normal human being normal like let’s be serious I’ve told people where I’m going to be today in case you did turn out to be a crazy person you know the world is aware of of my current location in case I disappear off the face of the earth


Sabina Brennan  49:02

Honest to God I have never done anything like that


PJ Gallagher  49:05

I was walking this is when all crazy people say this is solely out of character. Nothing crazy to say all the time it’s


Sabina Brennan  49:12

not like this I have no problem being described as crazy I’ll happily take out of the ordinary you know, it’s a bit weird to be stopped on the street and people you know, talking about you and stuff.


PJ Gallagher  49:24

Because it’s nearly always notice right? Yeah, they are nearly always notice right? So and stopped and fair of you by a lot of Eagles come here. I’m right in the middle. I’m so glad to match eagles. I’m right in the middle of xiomi movie. And I was like, I don’t know. And he goes Listen, he says I have a big budget right? I’m after buying 12,000 Indian Head massages from China. And I’m selling them all and it’s kind of fun. This movie was like, I can’t believe this conversation. You’ll see mountains athletes and various. So you’re gonna straight away just love this bonkers, right? Yeah, you know, you you Google better than him. Yeah.


Sabina Brennan  50:00

knew I went, and then I went, you know what some amazing things have happened in my life through kind of coincidence, it kind of just works that way. So I walked past it and I went, I turned around, that’s the bit you missed. He’s gonna think I’m annoyed. And I went up with that attitude, I could see it on your face. I really felt like I got it. This poor man is actually terrified. He was like,


PJ Gallagher  50:24

well, only because for a brief minute, I talked to her, like, you know, sitting into been for the last couple of days waiting for me to come in. You know, it didn’t seem like it, you know, cuz it didn’t feel like a chance meeting. I was like she’s parked outside the house or something the last three hours for my wife, then you realize we only live down the road now as a girl just decided to be much more normal.


Sabina Brennan  50:46

very normal. to you. You were really, really nice about it. You were very polite. And then you gave me the email address. And I kind of went, I actually had the same thing. I said, I’ll email him, but


PJ Gallagher  50:55

he may not. Here we are. Yeah,


Sabina Brennan  51:00

we are. And I’m delighted. It’s great. So like, yeah, folks, you know, go for it. Sometimes you stick your neck out. You never know what happens. Oh, yes. I did want to talk to you about your new job. How do you find that getting up early in the morning?


PJ Gallagher  51:16

during the day, six and a half years? So you’re not breakfast on another station in the same building for six and a half years? So it’s not so your body’s used to? Um, well, you sweat? Yeah. I mean, 25 years doing gigs at night, and then suddenly, it turns out, you’re a morning person, you know? Yeah, it’s a weird thing to happen, you know. And another chair, like I love it, like I love being on the radio. I love


Sabina Brennan  51:36

you love it more than the stand much more. So it’s a little bit closer to the bike ride. Well, yeah,


PJ Gallagher  51:41

like, I mean, it’s not motorbike racing, but like I love it much more like yeah, like don’t get me wrong when I say nothing’s ever going to be as good as together No, you’ve ever won’t be tough doesn’t mean looks bad. No, I


Sabina Brennan  51:51

know. I know. But I still want that fuzzy stuff, you know? Yeah.


PJ Gallagher  51:55

Those days are gone. So yeah, you’re just gonna have to think about people nowadays everyone thinks they’re supposed to be happy all the time. You know wants to be miserable a lot of the time so we enjoyed the high of the day that’s a fire is a pretty good day, you know, the day is hard. So yeah, hitting tan duck on like, those days are gone. But that’s all I can you know, you reflect on them and you enjoy them in retrospect, and you know, I get my little nostalgia style fills those. Oh, you see, I’m


Sabina Brennan  52:25

not good enough. I don’t like to go and back.


PJ Gallagher  52:27

I You see, I did


Sabina Brennan  52:29

make me sad to see so I think I’m the opposite way.


PJ Gallagher  52:32

So no, I don’t I love walking around all the streets I walked around the 80s and remember and shit like that and race days and you know all the headlines, you will never go back and look at a normal bike racer and again, but I’ll play with it in my head. Like, you know, I remember it that way. You know, and, and when I get on my bike, and I ride my bike up and down the roads every day now, which is a long way from racing. But you know, remember it and go back into my head with it and well you can’t watch other people to know see, I’m not even doing that. Yeah, I can juggle this. I love watching people do things I can’t do. Yeah, or you’re watching football. Love it. Or like Yeah, and I loved watching GAA, mostly Bohemians and I love all that because I was never able to deal with so there’s a great mystery to it to me. Really Yeah, like love that shit. But like a lot like you know, I love watching people play music well to certain gigs. I love going to these things. But anything I feel I can do. I kind of devalued a bit so I don’t want to see anyone doing you know


Sabina Brennan  53:32

I don’t really like watching movies with Irish actors in it.


PJ Gallagher  53:35

Because I Oh yeah, cuz I have a bit of a jealousy. Oh, yeah. Do you know that kind of course but your time for you to detach and you can’t see them in character anymore. You’re seeing them and that’s true Seamus from the Albion kids yourself. Yeah, go on to know what you’re like. Yeah.


Sabina Brennan  53:52

I would still feel like that. Like, I would still feel like a failed actor, you know, whereas my husband would be saying to me all the things you’ve achieved and I go Oh, yeah, but it’s a bit the same as you are Yeah, but that’s


PJ Gallagher  54:03

when it’s not acknowledged. Like when you say to yourself, there’s a part of me that feels like a failure


Sabina Brennan  54:07

when people don’t


PJ Gallagher  54:08

know you know, when your conscious wants them to go Yeah, you understand that? Yeah, yeah. It’s about me life as well because I think everyone has these things not everybody


Sabina Brennan  54:16

has the my tank.


PJ Gallagher  54:18

fuckin West definitely looks at himself and says, I should have got more he knows who you are in the world. Oh, yeah. I should have got I should have got more. You know, I let myself down there like everybody so but just infuriates me when I say are children and when people just talk about Yeah, I know where you’re failing on the same with this. Yeah, yeah. Rather than they go No, look at all the things you did get an interest in them now. I’ll do that tomorrow. Today. You’re looking at the shift. We’re looking at the shape today. Let’s look at the shape today. Look at the positive overload


Sabina Brennan  54:49

the time to be the one that I want to look at the shit now you see, I can look at the shit too long because I know a day is all it takes for me. I’d be gone. You No I have to keep doing stuff


PJ Gallagher  55:03

to ship the ship cuz I know you’re just shitting your to ship your ship and you’re everyone’s into ship item I can never do ship to ship fine to me. That’s to pretend positivity sometimes cares me I’m like I use all fucking message is anyone here to tell the truth? Is anyone here gonna tell the truth? Somebody say they feel like a failure because they know he is fucking do you know? That depends on the day but like literally Obama Barack Obama has definitely looks in some sense Should I let myself down and you can list out days and nobody feels like a failure when he was a fucking failure like we all are failures like all of us are as we are known to things and that we succeed and wanting. And this doesn’t mean anything Oh, no, but that makes you successful in this product. No, we’re all fucking let ourselves down all the time. That’s all right. Dreams as well. Get your fucking dreams go your dreams. I’m like a bank account. There’s never as much potential as your tinctorius you can achieve, do you know you can’t you can achieve on if you’re good at it. And your timing is good. And you know, people are you know,


Sabina Brennan  56:08

work hard and you see opportunities.


PJ Gallagher  56:12

A long time, it’s more than that the timing is wrong. If you’re a little bit too early, or you’re a little bit too late, or yet your dreams are fought. Like all your fucking dreams, your dreams, our baggage, your dreams or a story you’re used to let yourself down like, Fuck your dreams, I think more opportunities and things. Things are all right. It’s okay. It’s fucking okay. You know, it’s, I’m not forcing anyone else. You know, that’s I don’t know, the mayor. It sounds very negative when I say it. But I get a lot of comfort out of it. You


Sabina Brennan  56:42

know, I think you’re being what I call sort of accepting on that. And some people see accepting as some negative, but actually, it’s just not the way that is and you know, whatever. But I think the interesting thing is from a brain perspective is the brain is adaptable, right? It can change and respond is constantly changing. Right? Exactly. And that’s called neuroplasticity. And all that means is your brain has the capacity to change with learning. So failing is part of learning and that means your brain is constantly changing, but it’s adaptable. So that means when you learn and when you achieve something right you’re working to achieve it, you get your dopamine hit, you get your reward and then it’s done and it doesn’t have the same value because you’ve achieved it so you have to have something else or you need something else so like that like the minute you written the first book and like the minute that books written I go okay I need to get a third book deal it’s like the album’s are thing you know, and I am the last few months before this come out trying to come up with an idea for my next book. Yeah, and that went number one the week before last brilliant but I’m kind of going a year but it’s only number one in the nonfiction Irish Times charts I’m not oh me. No, but you know, and someone said to me a friend of mine who’s a literary agent she says but nobody can ever take it away from you You are an Irish Times number one bestseller


PJ Gallagher  57:58

that’s what I’d say to you. It is it’s only nonfiction yeah we can you can enjoy that like


Sabina Brennan  58:02

yeah yeah but I mean people think you make loads of money like you know


PJ Gallagher  58:09

never forget your naked camera the first year and like went from being literally a nobody comedian to a person was touring which I said no money. Yeah, homie lead cart. Lead card on a fella goes Bernardi


Sabina Brennan  58:29

you only got paid for the weeks you were on like it’s not like in the UK. Doctors have to sign on in here like you’re on the telly Yeah, I kind of earned six grand this year


PJ Gallagher  58:41

this year the actress who was doing Ferris Ed and like you know on sign and on and on posing for photographs yeah post office and are looking at what is they don’t know like to know whether they’re probably paying their TV licence but he’s like this is the weirdest thing like yeah it’s so minor scratch and I’m only posing for photographs and yeah people are going that’s your your man from Ferris. He was like dislike he’s like Tyrese demoed some testifiers and stuff as the I’m the only one here collected before everyone else is here paying bills I’m here collecting me scratch like walked up Fox. Like the celebrity in Ireland doesn’t mean we’re it’s weird like we’ve been so mad like we’ve celebrity mattress salesman in Ireland. For your celebrity mattress salesman, celebrity chef, celebrity hoteliers star and then we’ve hacked our swear to scratch Oh, they’re the biggest faces Yeah, like it so


Sabina Brennan  59:42

can I ask you this? I remember this when rochas doors was a shop in town. But I remember it This happened so often. I mean, I remember you’ve been doing your ordinary stove like your everyday stuff. I was raising kids and I was looking at something on the shelf and you’re conscious of people walk by I’m sure you get this all the time and then they start to walk back in


PJ Gallagher  1:00:00

Yeah, you got


Sabina Brennan  1:00:02

her and I kind of went like, I’ll just keep what I’m doing.


PJ Gallagher  1:00:05

Oh, she’s much


Sabina Brennan  1:00:06

smaller in real life than she is on the telly, and she’s this and she’s having a conversation. And they’re like this kosha and you kind of feel like


PJ Gallagher  1:00:14

I’m here. Yeah, yeah, I’m not quite recently in hospital. I was in a hospital getting a check of weather consultants. Thankfully not an RA. You know where people go, what’s your name is again. I was there PJ and she goes, now that’s not to me. She goes. Jason Bourne. He goes in fuckin isn’t. That was like really? Okay. Fair enough. Talk you have much different Oh,


Sabina Brennan  1:00:45

definitely. Definitely.


PJ Gallagher  1:00:46

I remember it’s like they know he had like, you know how we got normal stars. Yeah, yeah,


Sabina Brennan  1:00:50

I’m sure you’ve had people like that think they know you? They don’t realize that.


PJ Gallagher  1:00:55

No, you from an aspiring razor. I know you from and you don’t want to go? Oh. I don’t know. Oh, no, wait, wait. You want to pack them Valley family tree years ago there? fella car fondy Oh my god. Why is it? I don’t know. Did you know my God, it’s just these weird conversations. No,


Sabina Brennan  1:01:19

I remember that. Never knew you knew straight away that where they knew you’re from my character wasn’t very glamorous. So I was new. I’m looking shit. If they’re asking me to get recognized. I’m looking shy. And it would be a beautiful morning, say something in the middle of decorating it. And like that, you can’t you cannot turn it. Where do I know you from? And I don’t say What? I’m from Qatar. What school did you go? Because if you turn around, I mean, there’ll be someone like your show naked camera and you begin? Or maybe it’s fair city? No, I don’t watch first. You know,


PJ Gallagher  1:01:51

you just got a friend Eric Lawler who was in fair city, as called by by Carl. He’s a stand up. And he says because a fair city. So first thing is a different thing. Because he’s on La TV. He says that when you have a fair seat, you go into a whole new level. Yeah. Where people just thought he was the character. So yes, he was in Clare Hall Tesco and someone came up to him and goes, you’re some fucking bastard you can Oh, that’s a character in play. And he goes, don’t give a full quality as you’re doing you’re not biased. Like, you can’t can’t even play bread milk. Someone give me shit.


Sabina Brennan  1:02:25

I remember George Clooney. Not talking about myself are Irish actors in the same context, but like he’s a movie star now. But he started in sort of soap and that’s our thing. And like, that’s what he said. He said, when you’re in something like that, you’re in people’s living rooms. Yeah, they think they know you’re whereas when it’s a movie, you know, you’re going to see it and it’s a movie star. And it’s a level. It’s another level. But I remember there was a guy when I was in it. And he was a barman, actually, I think in McCoys, or whatever he was doing. He was up to no good. But we used to go down to the Tesco just down the road. Yeah, TV station. And someone started to beat him over the head with an umbrella. Or whatever you did. with mud. Yeah, it is what was salutely wild rice. Listen, I’ve taken loads of your time. What I do like to end on is to ask after I’d like to ask people to give their sort of advice on surviving and thriving.


PJ Gallagher  1:03:22

give up on your dream. Yeah, I mean, watch what you say. Are you done? I’m divorced parents to give anyone any advice. You know, stay lucky while you can. Stay lucky. Jesus Christ. It’s all you can do a wake up and try and feel lucky. You know what I mean? That’s here is really I’m not even messing. I just mean go with the flow. Like just do you


Sabina Brennan  1:03:49

know, I don’t believe in luck.


PJ Gallagher  1:03:52

I think you don’t believe in luck. I’m made out of the shit like I made.


Sabina Brennan  1:03:57

No, yes. No. You see that is giving away your power on your talent to look and your personality. And the reason people like you


PJ Gallagher  1:04:06

see, this is the things that color gone wrong. Yeah, but the time or the right person and the right so


Sabina Brennan  1:04:12

you were ready. You see, that’s my whole point.


PJ Gallagher  1:04:15

I’m not ready. Now. I’m not even ready for dinner. Are you?


Sabina Brennan  1:04:19

Yeah, you see you’re not seeing yourself from over here. And seeing how much people like you and how much joy people give and I can see why that’s hard for you to take in. Because you felt that grown up. Everything was the reverse. Right. I’ll


PJ Gallagher  1:04:33

give you a different answer. Okay. Be on a straight. Yeah, just a genuine answer. Right. In the last three years, I wouldn’t have given this interview to fucking anyone. We never give it up. Anyone, if Well, obviously, even even people who were attacking me in the front. Thank you know, but I would I don’t mean anyone but I would like if I’m having an interview. I will be honest, like, I wouldn’t have done it three years ago. It’s only last few years. It’s time to realize They call it an act. You know, it was an all bullshit I was sitting down and I was telling people people were asking me questions. What do you prefer? Do you love stand up? Would you love act and more? Little did they know how much I was DNR bullshit about love at all? You know? Yeah. And it’s just so much better to be I don’t I can sit here now and tell you how to ship that I’m not happy about yourself and I never will be. I’m be I’m alright with it. Yeah, that’s the thing you don’t I don’t feel like I need to fix anything anymore. Yeah, you asked me how things are if this is a bad thing, I’ll tell you I’m fucking awful human Are you never would have done it. I understand. Like, if I had to, I was looking after you. You were saying to me, if I was telling you all this crap that was looking after you to try not to make you feel bad. Try to make the journalist feel better. Or going into do radio interviews and trying to make them go have a good show. And that you can do all that just by yourself. I can be miserable and still give according to you, I think now, I can be better. And that serves me better as well. And actually, since I started being honest to people don’t just say Listen, I was laughing, but people say yeah, I can relate to that. Yeah, so be honest. I mean, it sound but be honest. Yeah, love your bullshit. is not bullshit. It’s the same as everyone else. That’s what I’m saying. If you feel like a failure, you are a failure. Fucking fine. Some of my songs to every other fucker in the pack. Don’t you don’t need to carry a bag in your own. We’re all carrying our bags of sacks a shift. We’re all walking around with sacks of shit that we’re never going to get away from. You look at all these certain celebrities now saying I feel better than you therefore I know better than you. And you know, you’re never going to be this glossy version. And so you feel like you can’t get away from Yeah, he’s a sack of shit lawyer bastard. He gets all right. You know, just fucking Be honest. Don’t listen to the sacks of shit who are telling you you can be anything you want to be be happy with who you are, be honest. Just be fucking honest. It will never free you. It will free you have your shit, I promise you, it will set you free. Yeah, you’ll be miserable. Just the same amount, which you’ll get out of it so much quicker. So much quicker. You stop being responsible for everybody else. And you’d be surprised where health comes from. Like, you’d be surprised how much you start making friends who are who will be honest with you back, you know, you lose those people. He’ll tell you what you want to hear. When you’re very honest with people that people will start being very honest with you back. Yeah. So you want to get to your life a little bit better. A little bit of a smile on your face. Or if you’re the type of person like me that when you’re miserable. You want to get wrapped up in your misery. That’s okay. Yeah, that’s actually quite an enjoyable thing to do. While you can enjoy uncomfortable and misery and anger


Sabina Brennan  1:07:26

sometimes, so just be fucking honest. Thanks to PJ for his honesty and I couldn’t agree more with his tip for thriving and surviving. Honesty really is fundamental to healthy relationships. Of course, it doesn’t mean that you go around sharing unsolicited honest opinions with random strangers. Although that would make for a great pj gallaher comedy character. You can catch PJ in his new series, the big DIY challenge currently airing on RTE. And you can catch up on previous episodes on RTE player. Well, I’m sorry to say that’s the last interview for season three. I’ll be taking a much needed break from podcasting to work on my next book and a radio documentary. I hope to spend some time in nature to to look after my mental health. I’ll still be on social media though. So do follow me at Sabina Brennan on Instagram at Sabina underscore Brennan on Twitter. I would welcome any suggestions for topics that you’d like me to cover in the super brain booster episodes. Thanks as always, to Emily Burke, who is more than just an editor and I couldn’t make this series without her. She is my right hand woman. We have amazing guests lined up for season four which will return in September in the interim. If you haven’t already done so please do have a listen to season one and season two. There are some brilliant guests and interviews and booster shots in there. My name is Sabina Brennan, and you have been listening to superbrain the podcast for everyone with a brain