A minor BBC production company has issued an apology to the whole of County Tyrone as well as the Buddhist community after they concluded a religious documentary by stating that Buddhism was now the dominant faith practised in the area.
BBC4’s Faith In Ireland series concluded yesterday with a tour of Ulster, visiting Strabane, Carrickmore and Ardboe and observing local traditions and faith development from a distance. Narrated by Prince Charles, the programme-makers ended with the declaration that ‘Buddhism is now the most practised faith in Tyrone, relegating Christianity to the dark ages‘.
Producer Ken Barlowe explained the error:
“It was an honest mistake. We were driving about the countryside and witnessed loads of bald men carrying a bit of weight just sitting on stone walls or fences doing nothing but staring into the distance and nodding every few minutes. We just thought it was some form of enlightened status they had reached. We didn’t know that baldness was rife in the county and with the men being fond of cream buns and fries, they looked like dead ringers for the small Buddha figures you’d see in Chinese restaurants.”
Barlowe also apologised to the Buddhist faith after research confirmed the little bald figure had little or nothing to do with the original Buddha. When pushed on how the apology will be offered, he angrily added:
“Listen, we’ve apologised already, OK? We saw priests shouting at the bald men so assumed the clergy were scolding them regarding their lapses. Anyway, in Clonoe we saw around 120 bald men with a couple of extra pounds around their waist just sitting in hedges and against walls, staring at cars going past. Have these people nothing to do? Might as well take up the Buddhism I say.”
Barlowe later apologised for the above quote, reminding viewers that there was much more to Buddhism than sitting in hedges staring at cars and that baldness was not a requisite to practise the faith.