A Strabane motoring enthusiast, tipped by locals to be as good as Jeremy Clarkson in terms of knowledge of cars, has failed to impress BBC producers following a dry run at presenting the show yesterday.
John O’Connell (44) is said to be fuming at the decision, accusing Top Gear officials of not thinking outside the box when it comes to presentational style. BBC bosses however rejected the criticism and reiterated their belief that the presenter cannot simply say “Jaysus boys thon’s tara” for every car he tries out.
Footage leaked from the pilot show sees O’Connell raking about in a new Audi shouting comments like ‘yeehar‘ and ‘shoe til the burd boys, shoe til the burd‘ before getting out of it, kicking the tyres, and turning to the camera, saying ‘Jaysus boys thon’s tara“. The exact same scenario followed when he tested out a new BMW.
O’Connell defended his style:
“Everyone has a catchphrase. If I’d been given a fair deal, everyone would be saying ‘Jaysus boys thon’s tara’ from the playground to business meetings, after a few episodes. BBC are just playing it safe and that’s disappointingly short-sighted from them.”
BBC also released footage of O’Connell using bleeped-out expletives during crucial scenes. One example showed the Strabane man shouting ‘f**k me boys, that’s deadly‘ after doing a handbrake turn in a Ferrari.
O’Connell maintains he will attempt to keep his presenting dream alive by applying for a job on The Sunday Game on RTE as a cover for Joe Brolly who is reportedly eyeing up the X-Factor role.