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28th Jan 2024

Viewers praise ‘inspiring’ Tommy Tiernan Show guest born with rare condition

Simon Kelly

Tommy Tiernan Jono

“He is so inspirational & genuine.”

Viewers held out particular praise for one ‘inspirational’ guest on The Tommy Tiernan Show this week.

Motivational speaker Jono Lancaster sat down for a chat with the Irish comedian on Saturday night, where he opened up on his rare disease and how it’s affected his life.

The 38-year-old, who was born with Treacher Collins syndrome, which affects the facial features, chatted to Tommy about being abandoned by his parents as a baby, before getting adopted.

Viewers praise ‘inspiring’ Tommy Tiernan Show guest born with rare condition

Jono explained to Tommy that, due to his condition, he was born without cheekbones and his ears have not developed properly, meaning that he has to wear a hearing aid.

“In my teenage years, I started to question why I look different from everybody else,” he explained.

“I just wanted to look like my friends and I became very angry with my parents. Thankfully, as a grown man, I actually love my face, but it’s taken me a lot of years to reach that point.”

He admitted that as he grew older, he realised that his condition “hasn’t stopped me from doing anything, but I stopped myself from doing so many things”.

Jono also opened up on coming to terms with being abandoned by his birth parents and adopted at five years old.

“As a child, I shared that story with all my friends,” he said. “I would say to my friends, ‘my mum went to the hospital and out of all the babies there, my mum chose me. Your mums and dads got stuck with you but my mum chose me'”.

The motivational speaker has also wrote a book called ‘Not All Heroes Wear Capes’, which documents his travels around the world meeting other people with Treacher Collins syndrome.

Viewers were quick to praise Jono and his inspiring chat with Tommy.

One viewer commented, “I know a teenager with this condition. It was great to see Jono tonight. I’d say life is still tough for him but that makes his going public all the braver. Fair play to him and to the show.”

Another said, “Jono is a hero. He is so inspirational & genuine. People can learn so much from this amazing & wonderful man.”

A third added, “Enjoyed that. Inspirational and humbling. Best of luck Jono….I have no doubt you can achieve whatever you want….Brilliant.”

Tommy’s other guests on Saturday’s show included Irish football legend Roddy Collins and historians and creators of The Bad Bridget project Elaine Farrell and Lianne McCormick.

You can catch up with the episode on RTÉ Player.

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