With ‘The Panel’ returning for its eight season and going on a nationwide tour, we talk movies with regular panelist Dermot Whelan. Having burst onto the Irish comedy circuit in 2004, Dermot Whelan soon established himself as a force to be reckoned with. Touring the nation, hosting regular TV and radio shows, even appearing on the big screen – he was in the 2003 Irish comedy Spin the Bottle as Garda # 2. He had two lines: “C’mon now, Son” and “Move out of the way there, Son”. Genius. He’s now a well established member of ‘The Panel’ team and with the eighth season due to kick off this Autumn on RTE, we met up with the man to talk movies. Q: Tell us about the last movie you saw? A:Went to see Indiana Jones an the Kingdom of the Not as Good as The Other Movies. It wasn’t as good as the other movies. But it still is great to see Indy with the whip and leather jacket – gives pensioners everywhere hope! Q: What is your favourite Irish movie and why? A:I Went Down. Directed by Paddy Breathnach who’s a great director and a lovely chap, and starring Brendan Gleeson and Peter MacDonald, who are great actors. I also worked on it as a trainee Assistant director. This meant I spent hours on end down dirt tracks stopping badgers from walking into shot! Q: What is your favourite movie of all time? A:Withnail and I. It’s so well written. Bruce Robinson’s skill at writing dialogue is amazing and the gags and characters are perfect. Gladiator is also a masterpiece and never off my DVD player. Q: What movie could you never sit through again? A:Mannequin 2. Dear God! Although it did have the best /worst strap line ever – “She’s got it, they want it. If they get it, she’s had it!” Genius. Q: Have you ever cried during a movie? Which one? A:The Wind That Shakes the Barley! I got misty-eyed when Cillian Murphy’s character shot is mate on top of the hill. I think the cinema was just dusty though… Q: Favourite movie snack? A:Buttered popcorn! It’s Satan in an over-priced tub! Q: Favourite TV programme? A:At the moment, Entourage. Finally something my wife and I agree on! Q: Who would play you in the movie adaptation of your life? A:I’d aim for Cillian Murphy. But due to budget constraints, I’d end up being played by Jimmy from Fair City… The Panel is going on tour later this summer and will be coming to a town near you. Dates Include… June 14th Millennium Forum DerryJune 16th Dean Crowe Theatre AthloneJune 17th UCH LimerickJune 18th Dun Mhuire Theatre WexfordJune 22nd National Concert Hall DublinJune 23rd Glor Theatre EnnisJune 24th INEC Killarney For Ticket Prices enquire at the venue; to visit ‘The Panel’ website click HERE.