BBC NI are said to be ‘in a state of panic’ after it emerged that the man who makes motorbike sounds for TV coverage when the biking season is at its peak has retired today, leaving the station without a recognised motorbike voice-over.
Mike ‘Vroom Vroom’ Morgan from Cookstown, who has been making bike sounds since 1969, was said to be struggling with the lower-pitched 1000cc engine noises in recent years and producers had voiced fears that he wasn’t changing gears with the extreme precision like when he sounded for the smaller, higher-pitched 125cc races before 2010.
However, his retirement leaves the BBC in a pickle with the North West 200 on the horizon. A BBC insider told us:
“This has knocked us for six. What a lot of people don’t know is that the braaaaaap braaap braap that you hear on the TV isn’t the real noise of a motorbike. That’s Mike Morgan in a studio in Portrush. The real noise of a bike is kahoo-kahoo-kahoo-kaWOOahuhukaWrrrrrooyooyooha-kahoo-kahoo and it doesn’t come across that well on the screen.”
Morgan, who also made galloping noises for the BBC’s coverage for the Grand National from 1967-1999 before he was sacked for a fit of coughing as the leaders went over Beecher’s Brook, has promised to whistle-blow on a few other small jobs he does that he was told to remain secret about, including the sound of the clack of the balls during a snooker match and the sound of animals during Countryfile.
“I’m going to blow this establishment wide open. Did you know that some of the matches in the NI soccer league are attended by no one? I’ve been asked to do crowd sounds for the Saturday results show and they use computer generated images of spectators from matches in Sweden and Azerbaijan. There’s a lot you don’t know.”
Morgan’s autobiography ‘Vroom Vroom around Toome’ is out next month.
Despite filming 10 episodes over a period of three months, a BBC NI spokesman confirmed that they’ll not be airing the ‘Tyrone Apprentice’ series over concerns regarding their twist on the iconic ‘You’re Fired’ hand gesture.
Desperate not to simply mimic the successful Alan Sugar version which sees the millionaire point at the unlucky contested each week, the Tyrone Apprentice, filmed in an unused boiler room in Powerscreen, sees local millionaire Giuseppe Morgan fire a potential business partner every episode by raising his middle finger and shouting ‘You’re Fired, Lad’.
BBC NI reality TV spokesman John Corr admitted they were always troubled over the use of the offensive gesture:
“People today are still a bit PC up this part of the world. The middle finger on NI TV is maybe ahead of its time but we can’t afford to take the chance. We thought about using a tranquillizer dart or pellet gun but that brings up all matter of hurdles we’d have to jump, from appeasing the decommissioning crowd to medical cover. We’ve decide to scrap the show and show a rerun of Grimes and McKee Tractor Tour Show.”
Corr added that a couple of apprentice candidates reacted badly to the firing middle-finger gesture and clambered over the table to take swipes at Morgan, although simultaneously admitting it was excellent TV.
The middle finger has a long and illustrious history, dating back to Ancient times when the Greeks used it as a sign of intimidation. In the Red Hand county it is often observed as a term of affection, with many motorists and GAA umpires using it.
For the record, an aspiring business man from Pomeroy won the outright final after his business plan of a gay strip bar in Plumbridge earned Giuseppe Morgan’s financial affections.
Two Derrylaughan brothers, Kenny and Kieran McAliskey, were said to be a bit annoyed after they were mistaken for two whales which sparked an international environmental storm. Both have since signed up for Slimming World in Dungannon.
The global incident was first reported after dog-walker Malachy Hamill spotted the two carcasses on the shoreline at 10am down by the Washingbay, a former continental sunbathing resort. Hamill, who claims to have 20/20 vision despite his 77 years, immediately phoned the parish priest, Irish News and BBC NI with his findings before heading home to find his binoculars.
“I was afeard of approaching them in case they got angry. But they definitely looked like two hefty whales with blubber wobbling all over the place.”
Fr McKinstry was on the scene within minutes and began a rosary with 15 women who follow his car about, ‘for the safe return to America or wherever the beasts came from’ according to chief prayer Lisa Mullan. Mullan added:
“Then all of a sudden the whales got up and rubbed themselves with towels and got into the car. We thought it was a miracle and a rake of the women fainted. It was only after Kenny wound down the window as he passed by and called us a bunch of praying perverts that the penny dropped. I’m not sure what happened here but it might be a miracle. Fr McKinstry is building a whale grotto just in case the Vatican gives it the nod.”
Kenny McAliskey admits it’s a wake-up call:
“If there’s anything that will encourage you to lose weight it’s being reported by Wendy Austin on BBC Radio Ulster as resembling a whale. I sort of got my eyes opened there. We ate a lot of Chineses lately.”
Meanwhile Lough Neagh Rescue Centre have confirmed that it’s impossible for a whale to come up the Bann to the Lough.