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Belfast Live
Belfast Live
Sophie McLaughlin

The Hotel People: Liam Neeson reveals he "could not handle" his three-day stint as barman

Northern Irish actor Liam Neeson has shared his past experience in the hospitality industry and his go-to meal when staying in Belfast on BBC NI's The Hotel People.

The Hotel People takes viewers inside the world of Northern Ireland’s largest family-owned luxury hotel chain, Hasting Hotels, as they recover from the pandemic.

In the latest episode to air on BBC NI, staff at the Culloden Estate and Spa are treated to a very famous face coming through their doors as the Ballymena man makes a return visit to the hotel.

Read more: BBC series takes behind-the-scenes look at NI's largest family-owned hotel chain

Speaking on the show, Neeson reveals that he once tried his hand at hospitality before going on to star in blockbusters such as Taken and Schindler's List.

He said: "As a young adult, I was a barman for maybe three days and I literally could not handle it. Mainly because I would be taking an order say someone asks for two gin and tonics, a pint of beer and this and that and I'm trying to calculate that in my head.

"And as I am leaving that group they say 'Oh forget about the gin and tonic, make it a vodka instead' and I am like 'uh, uh' doing these calculations. I couldn't handle it.

"So I have every respect for anybody that works in the hospitality industry and I really mean that."

Culloden staff Sam and Lynn also reveal that the actor checks in under the name 'Michael Collins' when booking at the hotel, a nod to one of Neeson's most iconic film roles.

Food and Beverage Manager Sam also shared some of his biggest likes and dislikes when staying in Belfast.

Sam said: "So he needs a spin bike put into the room so we will need to get that arranged to come up from the spa. And he'll want the champ, he'll want black pudding, he'll want our wheaten scones.

"He always has that when he comes."

The actor continued: "My favourite food when I come back is an Irish potato...especially champ. We call it champ - mashed potato and spring onions, a big dollop of butter.

"It's comfort food. It kind of is like coming home.

"In fact, one our your staff said it last night, 'Welcome back home, Mr Neeson' and I was like 'Thank you'."


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