June Rodgers - 30 years in the biz

By Hayden Moore

Celebrating thirty years in show-business, June Rodgers is back up and running and is “rearing to go” ahead of her 15-show run of The June Rodgers Christmas Show.

June Rodgers, who lives in Firhouse, has been bursting family’s guts with laughter for the past three decades and to this point has shown no signs of slowing down even though she was dealt a major setback this year.

June Rodgers and cast 2 by Jill OMeara compressor

June Rodgers and the cast (Image: Jill O'Meara)

Rodgers caught up with The Echo after having a hip replacement to let us know about her recovery just in time for the shows that run from November 29 to December 31 in Taylor’s Three Rock, spending half of her life in showbusiness and the highly-anticipated Christmas show.

Obviously, you made the move from the Red Cow Moran Hotel to Taylor’s Three Rock, how did it go?

It went really, really well, we did good business and it was quite a lot of fun.

People seemed to love it and it’s because there really is something for everyone in it; it’s a variety show – song, dance, cabaret.

One thing we did last year was the Sunday afternoon show because a lot of people don’t want to be out late in the evening during the winter, so they’re able to come during the afternoon, have their lovely four-course meal and be home and all by eight o’clock.

So this year we added on a few extra Sunday afternoon shows.

You’ve been hard at work at the new Christmas Show, is it all new material and characters?

It is a whole new show yes, but of course we will have some of the old favourites too. Jacinta O’Brien, that wagon had to come back and Oliver Bond will be part of the show except this year it’s all new Oliver Bond – I’ve been talking to myself in the car (as Oliver) and I’d say people were looking at me funny when I was stopped at traffic light thinking I’m mad.

What’s happening with Oliver Bond now?

He’s always up to something, whether it’s being security for Trump or whatever, it is something different every year.

To be honest I’m surprised I didn’t get the call for the new movie.

You never know, apparently Daniel Craig is leaving the role as James Bond so you could be still in with a chance.

In with a chance? I’ll punch his lights out.

When do you usually start thinking about the Christmas Show?

Just after Christmas last year when I was working on the Mrs Brown Christmas Special.

I get along so well with Brendan [O’Carroll], he’s so funny and I love working with him.

Then I hit the big SIX-O this year, but I didn’t get diamonds or a Ferrari like many girls would, I got a new hip instead. I thought it was through wear and tear or arthritis, but my whole hip collapsed.

I was on stage doing the Christmas shows last year in absolute agony, I did the show and collapsed once I got off the stage.

I am so thankful for Mr Maurice Neligan in the Beacon Hospital because he told me that if I keep walking on it and it hits my spine that I could be in a wheelchair because the actual hip was gone, it had collapsed.

So, I had to take the year off to take the time for the muscles to build-up again but I’m back in action and I am rearing to go now.

I actually saw a photo of you at Brendan Grace’s funeral with your crutch, did you know Brendan personally?

I did, I was a big fan of Brendan’s and I would have been very much influenced by him.

I used to see him at the cabaret shows down in a pub in Terenure, it isn’t there anymore, but it was really big at the time – it was the 70s and 80s.

He was just so funny, so, so funny and nice. He wasn’t affected by the whole show business thing, Brendan was just so normal and had time for everybody, he never said a bad thing about anyone.

Have you been watching the documentary series ‘Thanks For the Memories’ about Brendan’s passing?

Oh my god it’s just so sad to see him so ill like that.

His daughter contacted me after I spoke about him on the radio to tell me that her dad heard me talking about him and that it was nice.

So I messaged him back just to say that if he needs anything to let me know but that I don’t do bed baths – he got a nice laugh out of that. As they say, only the good die young.

The show is two hours long and as you said, you just had a hip replacement, are you expecting it to be more physically demanding than normal?

See I’m going in 100 per cent pain free, last year I was just in so much pain.

I see people going around with a crutch all the time but now I know how they feel, I feel their pain.

Anyone who is unsure about getting a hip replacement just get it because it’s the best thing I’ve ever done.

Don’t you worry I’ll be back to pole dancing; the bionic woman is back… in a leotard!

30 years in show business June, when you reflect on those years is there a single moment that you treasure the most?

The thing I treasure the most would be the amount of friendships I have made through the business.

And genuine friendships too. It can be a very hard business to stay in so I treasure the friendships a lot.

I have lovely friends, particularly over the last year throughout my recovery they have all been so good to me.

I have lots of audience members who have ended up being my friends too, I would occasionally meet up with them for lunch and dinner to see how things are going with them.

So yeah, the friendship absolutely.

Lastly, what can people expect from The June Rodgers Christmas Show 2019?

Entertainment for all of the family. It’s a good reason to get out of the house, sit back, relax, enjoy a nice meal and get a smile on your face because there can be so much doom and gloom out there.

You can catch The June Rodgers Christmas Show at the Taylors Three Rock (just at the Dundrum exit on the M50) with tickets €35 for the show or €55 including your meal on a Thursday/Sunday, €60 for ticket and meal on Friday/Saturday or €60 for New Year’s Eve.

The 15 shows run from November 29 to December 31.

Tickets available from www.junerodgers.eventbrite.com or by calling 014942311.

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