BBC To Show ‘Desperate Fishwives’ – An Insight Into The Crazy Lives Of Wives Of Lough Neagh Fishermen
A controversial insight into the daily lives of East Tyrone women married to Loughshore fishermen is to be screened over the summer, with some critics predicting it will become the greatest TV series since Dallas in the 1980s.
Details on the Desperate Fishwives plot have been hard to come by with BBC officials remaining tight-lipped about the project, instead releasing information on some of the main characters who may become immediate superstars such as Sue-Ellen and Miss Ellie.
Crystal is a 36-year-old red-haired ex-PSNI officer married to Bob McCourt, a 600 eel-a-day fisherman. Crystal, bored as Bob spends 20 hrs a day on Lough Neagh fishing and blathering, takes a notion to the local priest who in return hears her confession 4 times a day. Crystal tries to gain acceptance into the local community despite her shady past as an Armagh woman.
Pamela-Jane (39), who won the 1998 Ardboe Miss Wrangler Jeans competition at sports day, is married to Rob Coney – the captain of the Rams Island trout-fishing boat. Mrs Coney spends her days running a massage parlour in Moortown, frequented by many well-known local celebs such as Malachi Cush, Paddy Heaney and Philip Jordan who often leave smiling a lot.
Francine (23) causes consternation when she weds 81-year old Patsy Quinn, the millionaire ‘King of the Salmon’ fishing businessman. Francine fills her hours walking around the Washingbay winking at young men and dressed in long frocks and sparkling jewellery.
BBC producer Williard Butler added:
“The show follows six fishwives about for 12 months. We encounter fighting, diffing, slapping, cousin-fancying, fishing, crying, laughing, drinking and punching as the women meet up once a week. This will create serious tourism for the area.”
The first episode is to be aired June 31st at 8pm.
Despite the Lough Fishermen’s Co-operative Society’s three month fishing ban on all scale fish in Lough Neagh, starting on March 1, an Ardboe fisherman was this morning caught with 200 pollan under a pile of coats on his 26 ft GRP fishing boat with a Perkins 6 Cylinder engine, Borgwarner Gearbox, 64Kw, dual control winch with gantry.
When initially questioned by the bailiffs, the 79-year old man explained that he just was out for a sail when the fish started jumping in, probably because they’d seen other fish get in the boat when he was legally fishing before the ban.
Gaffer Wylie added:
“I believe they thought it was the fashion to get in the boat, maybe seeing their parents or cousins being fished in by net a month ago. I tried to stop them but there was no shifting them. Pollans are a stubborn fish and started beating their heads off the floor to knock themselves out. There was no point throwing them back in after that. Sure they’d just drown.”
Bailiff McIlhatton revealed he found the explanation highly unlikely but had no proof it didn’t happen as there were no rods or nets on Wylie’s boat by the time he arrived over, although he was almost sure he’d seen the fisherman throw equipment overboard when spotted a quarter of a mile out.
“This is the second time I’ve been hoodwinked. Another Maghery fisherman was caught with 800 trout in this boat and he maintained the fish loved his singing so much that they jumped in, and as he had his eyes closed singing he didn’t notice. They also, miraculously, knocked themselves out. Us bailiffs need faster boats. By the time we get over, these men have their stories sorted and gear ditched.”
Flame-haired Maggie Duffy, a new bailiff from Antrim, was stood down this morning from her job after it emerged that the sight of a red-haired woman was considered very bad luck by Lough Neagh fishermen.
A 25-year old Ardboe woman maintains she has no regrets after spending her first two wages as a teacher on plastic surgery to look like a trout from the Lough in order to attract local men.
Mary-Ann Quinn, who also maintains a ‘wet look’ at all times, confirmed she has increased her success rate at discos in Cookstown by about 300% since the major transformation, despite serious reservations from her parents and nine brothers.
“For years I’ve had to listen to cousins talk for hours about ‘great catches’ and things like ‘jays she was deadly looking’ and stuff like that when coming home from a fishing expedition. Well I took that on board and I haven’t looked back. I courted nine men over the last three weeks, four from Ardboe, two from Ballinderry, two from Derrylaughan and an oul lad from Maghery. Money well spent I say.”
Since the operation, Quinn has looked into developing a scaly complexion as well as learning how to ‘flop about’ on the dancefloor, a new craze some are calling the ‘Moortown Mating Move’. Quinn’s mother Jacqueline admitted things have had to change around the house:
“Our Mary-Ann would have been fond of the fish suppers but since the lips changed everything has to be blended and sucked through a straw. It’s a bit of a hassle. Also, it’s very hard to make her out but I suppose young ones will always have their trends. In my day it was colourful leg warmers so I can’t talk.”
The plastic surgeon, an qualified plasterer from The Duckingstool in Brocagh, charges anything from £340 for an eely facial expression to £40’000 for full on pike.
The prolonged flooding of fields and roads in East Tyrone has resulted in many residents gradually adopting fish-like characteristics such as having pouted lips and being deadly slippery.
Scientists have descended upon the area hoping to find definite signs of aquatic change, investigating a woman from Derrylaughan who has reportedly developed scaly leg syndrome. Professor Herbie McMahon, whose mother originates from Moy, is excited by the prospect:
“Yes, this is class news. I remember the bad floods in Derrytresk four years ago and I personally believe if it hadn’t dried out so soon back then we would have witnessed a whole batch of mermaids and mermen slapping about in that general area. I spent three days hiding in hedges and loanans watching them evolve from normal Derrytreskionians to half-man/half-salmon beings. The women too were pouting like mad and sucking in air, developing those trout-pouts celebrities pay for. One girl started eating worms. No one believes me though.”
Recently, the floods have shown signs of drying up with many fields below the M1 Tamnamore roundabout down to under 8 inches water depth. Prof McMahon insisted time is of the essence:
“We need to act now. There’ll be a few showers this week which will keep these people topped up. I’m told there’s a man developing gills in Brocagh. I also took a spin out to Ardboe this morning to watch the locals return from mass. Parishioners were flapping about all over the road and jumping in and out of streams. Ardboe ones would be slippery enough by nature but this is something else.”
The physical changes have come at a cost though as the predominantly fish-eating locals have begun eyeing each other up and licking their lips at one another whilst making threatening pot-stirring gestures.