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.
Following his high-profile departures from various soccer teams as a player or manager, as well as some media outlets, Roy Keane has added the 10am Mass at St Malachy’s in Woodbridge to his quitting list, labelling the Tyrone born priest Fr Quinn ‘a clown’.
Worshippers who sat near Keane during the service claim to have heard him muttering stuff throughout the readings and throw piercing stares at a 13-year old boy who sneezed three times during the Gospel.
Daily mass-goer Harold Burkin, who normally sits behind Keane on a Sunday, maintained the warning signs were there from the opening Introductory Rites:
“His stubble was unusually haggard and he had that deep furrowed brow look from the moment he knelt down for a few pre-mass prayers as he normally does. Two women were whispering away about last night’s X-Factor to his left and I heard him muttering something about the ‘blue-rinse brigade’ and ‘a pack of feckin donuts’. I knew something was going to blow.”
Keane appears to have walked out just after the Sign of Peace which involves worshippers shaking hands with anyone sitting close to them. Fr Quinn, who originally hails from Plumbridge in Co Tyrone, decided to shake hands with the first five rows as it was the first Sunday of Advent:
“He just stared at me but I continued to hold out my hand. But then he said ‘how are you in effing close proximity to me you effing clown – get back on your pulpit and do your job, clampit’. I admit I was sort of shaken by the incident and made a few mistakes thereafter. I’d completely forgot about the Prayers of the Faithful earlier and so tried to squeeze them in before Communion.’
Members of the congregation maintain Keane soon got up and mumbled something about ‘a bunch of amateurs’ and used the ‘effin clown’ words again.
Retailers from across the county have reported a massive hike in sales of ‘going out’ clothes ever since American actress Gwyneth Paltrow announced the end of her marriage to her husband and Coldplay band member Chris Martin.
Paltrow’s announcement appears to have pricked the ears of many single men between the ages of 21-59 from Strabane to Brocagh, with many citing the fact that she goes for boys with plain names being a case for optimism.
Pat Quinn, a 33-year old boiler servicer from Gortin, admits he was straight onto the Next clothes website as soon as he heard the sad news:
“I spent £300 in the space of half an hour. Three pairs of cords (brown, black and navy), 12 check shirts and a pair of DMs. That should see me going out every weekend for the rest of the year and you just never know. I have a nice two-syllable name and if the Paltrow girl happens to be popping in for a quick pint in Mosseys any time soon, I’ll be looking the part. High hopes, like.”
Gerard King (51) from Edendork, who boasts celebrity past conquests including a second cousin of Finbar Furey and a girl who met Boris Becker, reckons he has the X-Factor to win the 41-year old Los Angeles girl’s heart:
“I seem to attract the great and the good. Just last year I curted a girl who went to school with Liam Neeson’s family gardener’s nephew. If I can get the Paltrow girl down to the bingo hall I’m sure that the Old Spice will work its magic again. Imagine having a girl called Gwyneth walking around Edendork on the end of your arm. You’d be deadly proud.”
In other news, women across the county have not reacted excitedly to the news of Chris Martin’s availability, with one informing us he sounded like ‘someone from Eglish or something’.
Newlyweds Paul and Julia Brannigan have put Tattyreagh on the map after making it through to the TV stages of the X-Factor auditions singing a song they made up in the taxi on the way over to the show. Scribbled on the back of a packet of sweetie cigarettes, “Tattyreagh – You Don’t Have A Picture-house But You’re Deadly To Me’ wooed the judges so much that Simon Cowell is considering visiting the townland before the end of the month. Paul said it’s a dream come through:
“To be honest, we were going to sing “Islands In The Stream” by Kenny Rogers and Dolly Parton. Then, with a few shots in us, we thought feck it and wrote a song there and then in the taxi about the homeland. We’ve since lost the piece of cardboard it was on but we managed to include stuff like the scrap metal yard, sheep farming and the bath-doctor. It was hard rhyming something with bath-doctor so we pretended there was a Costcutters and that was near enough. We sang it to the tune of Raglan Road, cupping our ears and all, but they didn’t seem to notice.”
All four judges sent them through with Louis Walsh saying that Tattyreagh is the new New Orleans and that they were his favourite. Gary Barlow criticised the lengthy song title but maintained the heart-breaking line “The Quiggery Waters won’t run through us/But we don’t kick up a fuss” won him over and praised the couple for looking so clean and upright for not having a river. Simon Cowell added:
“This will be up there with Africa by Toto or London’s Burning by The Clash. Tattyreagh seems so exotic. “We normally go to Darcy’s Coal merchants/And after to the HalfWay House for a lock of pints” might not be an exact rhyme but it’ll be on the tip of the tongue of every 15-year old next week. Dannii Minogue was crying and she wasn’t even judging. We WILL build a picture-house for these people”
The Brannigans say they’ll definitely sing Islands In The Stream in the TV auditions unless they “start on the shots again and make up a song about the road to Fintona and the bastard tractors that houl everyone up.”
This year’s Tyrone Valentine’s Limerick Competition was the “worst standard in living memory” prompting the county council to write an email to all school headmasters to “up the literacy skills a notch” according to sources at the Clogher Poetry Society Headquarters.
The annual poetry competition attracts thousands of entries from single men from all over the county looking for a partner. The top three poems are read out at a dance in the Clogher Halls by the winning poets who usually head home with three women from the pack who gather to hear and inspect the talented wordsters.
“Eff me pink, it was cat altogther,” Henry Wisdom, chair of the Clogher Poetry society told us. “I had to wade through mountains of pure tripe. I’d reckon that 90% of the entrants managed to slip in farm machinery or drinking. One boy, from the Moy, was able to somehow rhyme ‘X Factor’ with ‘Caterpillar Track-Type Tricycle Tractor’. Romance is dead in Tyrone. I pity the women, I really do.”
Despite the falling standards, the panel eventually managed to narrow the entrants down to three, with “Ardboe Women” getting top honours for its depiction of a man sneakily looking at a naked woman around the Lough shore.
Winning entries below:
1ST PLACE – ARDBOE WOMEN: By James Devlin
It’s great to live in Ardboe
To Moortown I’d hate to go
The women here are fair
And great when they’re bare
Like my neighbour beside me on Sundays, ghost-oh
2ND PLACE – NICE STRABANE MAIDENS: By John McElhaton
The women in Strabane are wile nice
But there’s none I can entice
What’s wrong with me?
I’ve a diesel turbo SUV
I’d buy you a chicken fried rice
3RD PLACE – LONELY IN BRACKAVILLE By Godfrey Gillis
This year I hope someone says yes
Now that I’ve a permanent address
But, if you say no
I couldn’t stick the woe
And I’ll have to torch the buckin wedding dress (that I bought in the Island)