Karl Broderick: ‘It’s a cliché that gays love Judy Garland, but there was no gay influence in my deciding to love her. She was my first love’

Composer, theatre producer, and TV and panto scriptwriter Karl Broderick lives in Dublin with his husband, TV presenter Alan Hughes (aka panto star Sammy Sausages).

What’s your earliest memory?

Hiding behind the sofa terrified by The Wizard of Oz.

When and where were you happiest?

Butlin’s as a kid. A fairground, cinema, theatre, waterpark and total freedom. Hugely fond memories

What is your biggest fear?

Ending up alone and broke.

What’s your least, and your most, attractive trait?

I’m a bad time-keeper. I actually wrote a song called I’ll Be Ready In A Minute. I believe my best trait is empathy. (I asked the hubby.)

What trait do you deplore most in others?

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What’s the first thing you’d do if you were Taoiseach?

I’d aim to make sure nobody who worked a full-time job was anywhere near the bread line.

Who would you most like to go for a pint with?

My granny. Died at 93. Loved Top of the Pops and had a youthful naivety that luckily I’ve inherited.

Which fictional character do you most identify with?

Emma in Jane Austin’s classic novel. I’m forever trying to matchmake.

What is your most treasured possession?

Besides my phone, I took this small St Anthony statue from my mam’s house when she died. It’s plastic and was never washed, so I touch it everyday as I just kinda believe my mam’s DNA is on it.

What’s your guiltiest pleasure?

Huge bars of Dairy Milk.

What’s the best piece of advice you’ve been given?

Treat everyone as you want to be treated.

Who would play you in a film of your life?

Tom Holland as the younger me and then Christian Bale. He morphs into the character amazingly.

Do you believe in a god?

God yes, but I despise organised religion.

What’s your favourite word?

Serendipity. As a songwriter, I haven’t used it yet, but I will.

What’s the last TV show you binge-watched?

Grace and Frankie. Jane Fonda and Lily Tomlin and even Dolly Parton in the finale. I cried.

What’s been your closest brush with the law?

Once my tax was out…in the post. There was a checkpoint ahead, so I did a U-turn. Well, about four police cars came after me, sirens, blue lights, the works. Seemingly they were looking for a car that was carrying guns and my U-turn set them off. I got a firm telling off. I still have PTSD when I see a checkpoint.

What advice would you give your 18-year-old self?

Don’t let people make you dismiss your feelings.

If you could have a super power, what would it be?

Time travel.

What’s the worst job you’ve ever done?

I dressed up as a Bord Gáis bear and handed out leaflets at traffic lights. I had quit my job in advertising to try be a writer and was happy to take anything going that only required a few hours of my time so I could be a writer.

What book do you wish you had written?

Our nephew Andrew Hughes’s book The Coroner’s Daughter. It just got a rave review in The New York Times. It’s a stunning book and it humbles me as a writer.

What’s your favourite song to work out to?

Strong Enough by Cher.

What figure from history would you like to have met and what would you discuss?

JFK fascinates me. I’ve toyed around with an idea of a play where JFK is in heaven’s waiting room then Lee Harvey Oswald arrives, then Jack Ruby, and they know all the answers. And Judy Garland. It’s a cliché that gays love Judy, but there was certainly no gay influence in my deciding to love her. She was my first love I guess, and it shocked me when I grew up and realised how much a proportion of gay men love her too.

What song would you like played at your funeral?

Somewhere from West Side Story.

Karl Broderick wrote and co-produces ‘Snow White and Sammy & Buffy’, which runs at the National Stadium from December 13 to January 8. For tickets, see panto.ie

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