Game of Thrones actor Michael Condron has swapped the black leather of the Night's Watch for the green of Asda after taking up a job as a delivery driver at our Belfast Shore Road store.
Michael – who played Bowen Marsh, Lord Steward of the Night's Watch, in the hit series – says he "absolutely loves" his new role as a key worker and was proud to be able to play his part in feeding the nation.
He said: "Every single person has a role to play in these times. People now should really appreciate the hard work that everybody does – I think people who work in supermarkets have often been taken for granted."
The 42-year-old Belfast-based actor, who's also starred in The Tudors and in Soft Border Patrol and is a well-known face in Northern Ireland theatres, said he had several pieces of work lined up at the start of the coronavirus outbreak, but those got put on hold.
He said: "A friend of mine said Asda were looking for people to work there so I got in touch. I came down, got a job and I absolutely love it.
"The job means I can continue to have that interaction with people like I get in a theatre. It's kept me mentally in a good place and it continues to do so.
“I’ve been having a brilliant time meeting people I’ve never met before. I do about 17 to 18 calls a day when I’m working, so I've been getting to know lots of different people. Some of them have come to be regular customers too – it's nice to have a rapport with them.
"Some of the elderly people I see haven't been able to get out of their homes due to the lockdown and they just want to talk."
He says some of his customers have recognised him, saying: "Aren't you that guy off the telly?"
"And through my experiences working with Asda I think I can write a play! I've managed to find many, many characters. All of them fantastic!"
Michael, who also helps out on Click & Collect, said: "Everyone in the store has been fantastic since I've been here. They've all been sound and dead on!"
He said colleagues had asked about what it was like on the Game of Thrones set and what the other actors were like.
He said: "Much of the filming for Game of Thrones was done in Croatia and Iceland but mine took place in Larne which is not very far away from me in Belfast! It was handy. People have been asking what everyone was like on that show. I get asked that so many times, but they were all really nice people."
Michael, who's in lockdown alone as his girlfriend Lucy is self-isolating with her mum, is thinking of keeping on the driving role on a part-time basis even after the crisis ends. He said: "It's definitely something I would be keen on doing. It's really good for me. It's very physical work and it's keeping me really fit too."
Asda Belfast Shore Road store manager Kate Oakes said: "It's really fantastic having Michael work us. He's swapped the black leather of the Night's Watch to the Asda green of a delivery driver.
"He gets on really well with all staff here and customers too and we're very happy to have him. It's nice to have a local celebrity working with us.
"As a lot of Game of Thrones was filmed in Northern Ireland and by the North Coast there are many fans around here and in store.
"Michael's a very humble and modest man and hasn't said anything to his customers but he has been recognised – although he does look different!"
Michael's line manager Susan Donaldson said: "It's nice to have a local celebrity who's been in such a global sensation as Game of Thrones working in our store. For someone like him to want to come and work here as a key worker is great."
"Michael is absolutely brilliant! He does a bit of driving and also click and collect too. He is very much part of the team and integrated really well. He's picked things up very quickly."