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Paddy and Nigel taking success in their stride

HOMEGROWN TALENT: Paddy Rafferty has had a remarkable year both onstage and online as Paddy Raff and his alter ego Nigel, right. The Brooke man is now set for a sell-out run at the Limelight in Belfast HOMEGROWN TALENT: Paddy Rafferty has had a remarkable year both onstage and online as Paddy Raff and his alter ego Nigel, right. The Brooke man is now set for a sell-out run at the Limelight in Belfast
By Ciara Quinn

SINCE he first took up his guitar and hit the stage back in July last year, West Belfast internet sensation Paddy Rafferty has been selling out venues across the city.

Fans of the Brooke-based Paddy ‘Raff’ have lapped up his BT9 alter ego ‘Nigel’ in online sketches such as ‘Nigel at the Christmas Market’, ‘Nigel the BT9 Tout’, as well as the storming stage performances of ‘Paddy and Nigel Act Their Postcodes’.

Set for yet another sell-out run of four shows at the city centre’s Limelight venue, Paddy told the Andersonstown News that he is “gobsmacked” at the response to his on stage routines and that of ‘Bravo Tango 9er’ Nigel.

“It’s class,” said Paddy, “I remember when the hosepipe ban was in full effect last year, thinking what kind’ve voice would go with someone who would tout on his neigbours and their over-use of their hose pipe.

“The character of Nigel started with a Snapchat filter. This to me looked like some kind’ve posh dude, the mullet, the aviator glasses and moustache. Luckily it was one you could replicate easily as a lot of the filters are quite contorted.

“The first one went viral and featured on BBC Trending NI. At the time I didn’t think it would be a recurring character but people really responded to it, they were like ‘you gotta do more with that posh guy’, I just kept going back to it, it’s a pure fluke how it came about,” he said.

Since Paddy took to the stage at the Palm House in Belfast and Derry’s Nerve Centre, he has performed to thousands of comedy fans during a series of three sold-out shows at the MAC theatre in March.

“I remember when the MAC tickets went on sale, I checked the tickets and the map was completely grey, I thought ‘maybe I’ve got that the wrong away about?’, but a second show was penciled in and within two hours of that going onsale we put on a third one.

“The Limelight is 450 people capacity and three of the shows are already gone, the fourth one is approaching sell-out. I’m blown away. Basically I’m responding to the demand that’s out there.”

Paddy spoke of how he is working with producers to develop ideas for TV both here and across the water.

“I’ve a massive, massive list of ideas for more sketches. I’m sort of a one man band, still a full-time dad and it’s like anything it’s getting the time. I’m making the time for it now, it’s not a nine-to-five job in that you are at the desk. My wife and I have fantastic support from our families so that is great to have.

“I’ve achieved more than I ever thought I would, it’s not even been a year since the first solo show. I’ve put a lot of effort into this show and want to let as many people come to see it before moving on. At the minute I’m looking at a bigger venue for a new show, possibly towards the end of the year. I’ve loads of ideas and it’s been great to have received the support and reception the show has so far to date had.”

Paddy and Nigel at the Limelight takes place on Sunday May 5. Tickets are limited and are available via www.ticketmaster.co.uk

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