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21st Apr 2024

Tommy Tiernan viewers praise ‘inspirational’ guest following incredible childhood story

Simon Kelly

Tommy Tiernan Show Thammy Nguyen

She was described as a “warrior” by some viewers.

It was the season finale of the Tommy Tiernan Show this weekend and viewers were treated to an incredible few guests to close out this season.

The final guest of the show gave a powerful interview with the comedian, coming to tears while retelling the story of her young life.

Thammy Nguyen, a Vietnamese-born Irish weightlifter and entrepreneur, best known for being the first Irish weightlifter to win a senior medal at the European Weightlifting Championships, told Tommy of her difficult childhood move to Ireland.

Moving from Hanoi with her father when she was six, Thammy left behind her mother and brother, Irish badminton champ Nhat Nguyen, for years before they eventually joined them.

Thammy described that period of her life as a “sad time” and was visibly emotional throughout: “When I first came over here I didn’t have a lot of money, I didn’t have English, I didn’t have friends, no family. So it was just a sad time.”

She told Tommy that her dad had three jobs in order to provide for her family at home and abroad, saying, “when I was sitting at home by myself it was just a really lonely time for me.”

Tommy Tiernan viewers praise ‘inspirational’ guest following incredible childhood story

However, things started to change when her mother and brother finally joined her and her father in Ireland: “I thought I was coming over here and I was never gonna see my mam and my brother again.

“I was told by my mam that ‘you’re gonna move over to Ireland and it’s going to be a better opportunity for you’. She said ‘you need to trust me on this, it’s going to be better for your life and when you get over there you guys just need to look after each other.'”

Thammy said that her life has been “full of happiness since” the rest of her family joined her. The Nguyens set up a Chinese restaurant in their hometown and Thammy eventually got her Irish passport and citizenship when she turned 18.

Around that time Thammy also got into the gym and was told she had a natural talent for weightlifting, which led her to become a champion in multiple competitions throughout her career, including Ireland’s first ever medal in the sport.

Viewers were bowled over by Thammy’s incredible backstory of how she arrived in Ireland and her journey since.

One viewers said: “Thammy Nguyen is a warrior She has done herself & her family so proud. We have no idea how difficult it was for her when she came here & now she’s winning medals for Ireland. A legend.”

Another said: “What a benefit to Ireland. Thank you Thammy Nguyen.”

A third viewer said: “Thammy, I cried hearing how it felt as a 6 yr old arriving with your dad, sitting on your own while he worked 3 jobs. Than the miracle seeing your mother with your brother. Happiness at last! Those 3 yrs must have been so isolating but look at you now! Married 2 kids!”

Also on the Tommy Tiernan Show on Saturday was Republic of Loose front-man Mik Pyro and comedian and actress Roisin Conaty.

You can catch up on the show on the RTÉ Player.

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