IN THE last year a lot has changed, perhaps one of the biggest changes in the entertainment world has been the rise of TikTok.

One star of the social media platform is Tadhg Hickey who has been making waves with his political comedy in his native Ireland, but the actor also has an eye on the politics of Wales.

The pandemic has proven a turning point for so many people here in Wales and around the world. Many have changed jobs and homes and have been given a fresh perspective on life.

For Cork comedian Tadhg, it reinvigorated his career and freed him to follow his passion of mocking the often bizarre and shambolic world of politics.

Tadhg first gained widespread attention with his Brexit as a house share in Cork sketches on TikTok. Since then, his career on the social media platform has really taken off.

“I had come out of a 12-year battle with alcoholism so I was trying to keep things going while trying not to fall into the abyss of alcoholism, which was tricky as you can imagine,” said Tadhg.

“But I stopped drinking completely in 2015 and everything completely changed and I was able to focus on work and be a better father.

“I was kind of involved in marches but I felt my drinking took over so much of my time that I felt I wasn’t the activist that I wanted to be. I was acutely aware it was one thing reading Wikipedia entries on Marx but it was quite another thing being part of a movement that wanted to create change.

“When I got sober and my more commercial comedy wasn’t taking off it was around the time the lockdown kicked in I thought I’m just going to do exactly what I want.

“The world was on fire anyway, I didn’t know if the arts was going to recover. The arts are pathetically funded in Ireland. So I thought I’m going to do exactly what I want to do and all these ideas for political sketches, I’m obsessed with Anglo-Irish relations and Brexit was happening at the same time.


“It was a perfect storm for me. I had no idea it was going to take off, in fact people have been telling me that it was really difficult to get traction with it and then the first major political sketch that I did got well over two million views.

“That was verification that you should do whatever you want. I’m not setting out to be nasty in them, it’s something I’m really interested in. I feel like the style of comedy that I use to tell the stories is my style.”

Despite having been approached about getting involved in frontline politics, Tadhg feels his efforts are better place elsewhere.

He said: “I’m a clown, I’m a joker, my role is to make jokes. But I feel I can do my little bit by staying in what Plato called the specialisation of comedy. I’ll do my comedy, the politicians can do their politics and we can all do our own little part in our own little way”

One of the successes of Tadhg’s comedy is how it has been taken off in Welsh political circles.

“I’ve always been very interested in nationalism but Welsh and Scottish nationalism in particular,” he said.

“Irish nationalism is so nuanced, I’ve been trying to understand the Welsh and Scottish psyches around nationalism. I have a good few Welsh nationalist followers.

“Ireland for all its problems has managed to eke out its own national identity that has travelled out all over the world.

“And there are a lot of things in Ireland to be very proud off even though I’m not a fan of this government or any government since the foundation of the state.

“And there is so much to be proud of in Wales and it feels to me like a natural next stage. How far does a devolved government go before the logical next step is independence really?

“With the support I’ve got in Wales, when I’ve finished the show I’m working on now, which is a Brexit house share musical, the dream would be that I would be able to take it to Wales and Scotland.”

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