Sleeping rough on the streets for SBS’s Filthy Rich and Homeless had a profound effect on Ciaran Lyons.
The 23-year-old comedian, who lives in Milsons Point, said the experience of feeling “vulnerable” and “invisible” was overwhelming.
“I knew there was an end date, after 10 days I could go home, but it still is the hardest thing I have ever done,” he said.
“I don’t think I could ever make a joke about homelessness now — if I heard a joke I would be offended.”
While not everyone has the means to help financially, compassion is equally valued.
“When you’re walking past, take note,” he said.
“It’s horrible to feel like you’re invisible. I would never say ‘I was homeless’ — it would be an insult to those who are — but by day two I was suffering from low self-esteem. People were ignoring me when I was asking for the time.”
It took Ciaran a couple of weeks to adjust back to normal life.
“Before understanding homelessness, home was having shelter and food, but that’s the least of it now,” he said.
“Home is not feeling isolated. I’m a chatterbox, so not having someone to talk to was almost worse than being hungry.”
Filthy Rich and Homeless airs June 9-11 at 8.30pm on SBS.
CIARAN’S FAVOURITE THINGS AT HOME
This is one of the first drinks I ever had when I turned 18. I was given it as a present and it’s a nice drink — not too strong, because I am a lightweight.
David Beckham cologne
I first got that fragrance as a Christmas present when I was 13 and have stuck to it. I am a huge fan of his, and my favourite number is seven, which is the number he wears when he’s playing.
We get along really well, and I know him better than anyone else. We have a lot in common and he’s just started playing on my soccer team, which is now a problem because he is better than me.
I am notorious for being a phone addict. This sounds stupid, but initially my biggest fear doing the show was not having access to my phone. I actually coped a lot better than I thought, it was a nice break.
I have played this sport my whole life. I follow Arsenal and Perth Glory and I still play casually with mates on a Monday night. I love a kick around.
I am superstitious so I wear a denim shirt to 95 per cent of my stand-up shows. It’s hard to break that habit, and I have about 12 or 13 denim shirts now. For Christmas, people buy me denim shirts.
Noise cancelling headphones
I swear by these. They are a big part of my life and I have them with me all the time playing music. Obviously no one is travelling right now, but when we could I always wore these on