Domino’s Surprised Paul Ryder With Their First Ever All Star Award – Here’s How It All Went Down

STELLAR promotion: The Ireland's Got Talent fave has been honoured for his services to entertainment.

Domino’s, the nation’s favourite pizza, has announced Paul Ryder as the first recipient of the Domino’s All Star Award. The cheeky twist on the famed GAA gong – launched by the pizza-maker last year – rewards people for extraordinary services to sport, entertainment and humankind with free pizza for a year.

The big cheeses at Domino’s have awarded the TV star for his outstanding services to entertainment in Ireland. The 30-year-old drag performer, choreographer and dance teacher tread the boards for over a decade before conquering the Ireland’s Got Talent stage and capturing the hearts of the nation, and has been described by Louis Walsh as an ‘inspiration to so many people’.

Domino’s surprised Paul with the award, created by the official GAA All Stars medal-maker Jarlath Daly, when they went behind the scenes at an exclusive photo shoot for STELLAR Magazine. TV3 presenter Alan Hughes and producer Karl Broderick, who have worked with Paul since he was 16, teamed up with Domino’s to deliver the award, along with a pizza lunch to the shoot, stunning Paul in an emotional reveal! As well as the bespoke medal, the Domino’s All Star Award entitles Paul to a year’s supply of freshly handmade pizza from Domino’s.

So Paul, for anyone that didn’t get to see you on Ireland’s Got Talent, tell us what you’re all about!

I am the drag performer with something different. When I started drag, I didn’t want to be what I saw and already admired so I knew that I had to bring something different to the table. So, I decided singing live was my forte and instead of donning the big wigs and the huge make up, I’d take it down a totally different avenue. Some call it androgynous but I just call it WERK!

How was your experience on the show? Was it what you thought it would be like?

No, not at all. It was SO much better. I was so sceptical going into the idea of entering Ireland’s Got Talent as I’d seen friends enter other shows and it not work out for them so for me, to pluck up the courage as a drag performer and not even what people know as ‘normal’ drag and set foot on that stage was terrifying, but I would do it all over again in a heartbeat. It gave me back a confidence that I really thought I had lost.

Paul shows off his award in an ensemble by Irish designer Claire Garvey

And what are your plans now? Are you working on anything really exciting?

I haven’t had two days off in a row since October and I wouldn’t change that for the world. I’ve been gigging up and down the country and am preparing to go on a tour of the UK and Ireland in October. It’s not only the jobs, but meeting some unbelievable and influential people in this industry and gaining advice from them to further my madcap career. I’ve such an interest in the TV world and am hoping to continue that.

I’d LOVE a job on Ireland’s Got Talent season two as like, a roving reporter for Domino’s or also another dream is to take to the floor for Dancing With The Stars. Mainly, I’m just happy to work my padded butt off and to keep this dream alive.

What does it mean to you to win the Domino’s All Star Award for your contribution to entertainment?

I can’t even tell you. This is the stuff I dream of. To be recognised in this country by the amazing people at Domino’s is a dream come true. I do what I do because I love it but when you get the call to say “..Hey, we love it too!” That feeling is second to none. Needless to say, I’ll be celebrating with a big pizza party!

And finally, if you were a pizza, which one would you be?

I’d most definitely be an Italian hand stretched crust (almost like a killer heel ready to stomp the runway) with BBQ sauce, because I wanna make you do a double take when you taste and realise I ain’t no tomato! Next the toppings… throw it all on! As a drag performer you have to realise there are no limits and never let anyone tell you you’re too much! Finish it off with a sprinkle of every type of cheese there is. Camp it up! Pop me in a box and deliver me hot, handmade and fresh!

Members of the public can still nominate anyone who they believe deserves to be recognised for extraordinary services to sport, entertainment or humankind. You simply need to tell Domino’s why their nominated recipient is deserving of the All Star by emailing info@offcialfoodofeverything.ie.

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