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Friday, 26 January 2018


(9 OF 12)

The Pivot Questionnaire comprises 10 questions. I have seen it used on the television show Inside The Actor's Studio, presented by James Lipton. Apparently Proust was the original inspiration. The modern questions originated on a French TV show called Bouillon de Culture, hosted by Bernard Pivot. I have expanded the questions to 12.

(For the time being, this idea is restricted to Northern Ireland's creative artists in any field, literature, music, broadcasting, etc. If you are one and are interested in taking part as well as promoting your work, please get in touch via

This post's special guest is Belfast-born actor Michael Smiley. He began as a stand-up comedian and has developed an impressive body of screen work as documented in his IMDB CV: 

Credits include Spaced, Wire in the Blood, Bleak House, Jawbone, Free Fire (one of my favourites) and, of course, Luther as Benny. 
In 2014, he presented the great cycling travelogues Something To Ride Home About, touring Northern Ireland on his bike and exchanging merry banter with local people.
Michael is currently filming series 5 of Luther and in the Spring he should be shooting two films in Ireland, one North, one South. He is currently writing his first feature film.
I met Michael very briefly at James Ellis's wake at the Europa Hotel, Belfast in 2014. It is always a delight to see his name in the credits because you know you are in for a treat.


1. What is your favourite word? Hallion

2. What is your least favourite word? Smug

3. What turns you on creatively, spiritually or emotionally?
Cheeky,  smart, funny conversations

4. What turns you off?
Bad breath and bigotry

5. What is your favourite song?
As by Stevie Wonder

6. What is your favourite film?
Adam & Paul

7. What is your favourite curse word?
Cunt (so versatile)

8. What sound or noise do you love?
My kids laughing

9. What sound or noise do you hate?

10. What profession other than your own would you like to attempt?
Tap dancer

11. What profession would you not like to do? Screw 

12. If heaven exists, what would you like to hear God say when you arrive at the Pearly Gates?
"They're all here waiting for you."

("I've asked my wife* for her description of me." "A funny fucker, sez she!")

* Michael's wife is the superb journalist Miranda Sawyer

Michael Smiley, thank you for your dozen answers to a dozen questions.

Previous posts:
Singer/songwriter Mandy Bingham – 17 January 2018
Poet Colin Dardis – 18 January 2018
Writer & Independent Researcher Anne-Marie Quigg – 19 January 2018
Broadcaster Gerry Kelly - 20 January 2018
Writer George Larmour – 22 January 2018
Journalist/writer Geoff Hill – 23 January 2018
Singer/Songwriter Janet Henry - 24 January 2018
Broadcaster Lynette Fay - 25 January 2018

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