“I like an open fire and my dogs curled up at my feet”

editorial image

Currently starring in panto Jack and the Beanstalk at Londonderry’s Millennium Forum - the standup does a fabulous funny dame routine to rival May McFettridge -William Caulfield is also putting together material for his forthcoming show celebrating the life and career of old school Ulster funnyman Jimmy Young. Caulfield is planning to begin touring the show in February and hopes the piece will allow James Young’s multifarious fans to relive some of the old and revered comedian’s magic.

“As a child I grew up in a strictly Protestant evangelical house without any television,” confides William. “So I grew up listening to recordings of Jimmy Young, hundreds and hundreds of LPs. While other children were coming home to watch Blue Peter or whatever I was hooked listening to Jimmy Young and all the characters he impersonated.”

William Caulfield in his living room

William Caulfield in his living room

William, who is divorced, lives in Bangor in a spacious detached house. Has he has struggled with the interior design and furnishings of the house given that it often requires a woman’s touch to make a house into a home? “I’ve had people to do up the house for me, but the beautiful thing actually is that I don’t have a wife in the house telling me what to do!,” he quips

William’s favourite room is his ‘good room’ or front room - the one he receives guests in, the place where he relaxes while listening to music and where at times he sits down to write comedy sketches.

“My house is like anybody’s house in that it is sometimes messy, but you like to keep at least one part of the house clean and tidy enough to receive guests. If anyone comes to see me I just make sure they go through that door and into the good room before they have time to survey the devastation everywhere else.

“I have a study with a computer to do all my emails and things but when I am actually sitting down to write a show I will sit in the good room. I like to begin with pen on paper because I am very old fashioned that way. I’ll light the fire if it’s winter and have my two dogs Charlie and Willow come and curl up at my feet or beside me.”

The decor in this favoured room is decked out in the ever-luxurious and pricey Laura Ashley, with chic furnishings in shades of cream, taupe, magnolia, brown and grey that co-ordinate with the accent wall, dark oak furniture, leather and fabric covered armchairs and a bespoke dark brown engraved mantelpiece. Elsewhere in the room William has a straight-backed piano, mementos and photographs of loved ones, artfully placed cushions and other personal effects. The fabrics look soft and luxe. Cream curtains and embossed blinds complete the room’s sophisticated but relaxed and traditional aesthetic.

“My Vienna wall clock was my mother’s so that is special to me. On the mantelpiece are pictures of my mother and father and another is of my son and daughter.

“I went and bought a bottom upright piano so that when guests stay with me we can have a bit of a sing song - a lot of friends doing shows in Belfast will come to stay. I only play the piano rarely and very badly. I can knock out a few tunes but there’s no way I would play in front of everyone else.”

William has managed to create a stylish and comfortable space that is beautifully colour co-ordinated, cosy and yet light and airy.

Catch William in Jack and the Beanstalk at the Millennium Forum until December 31.