Bernard McHugh was the man that blazed a trail for Irish gobshites everywhere. Other gobshites, like Brendan Kilkenny for instance, owe him a massive debt for paving the way and firmly instituting the notion of 'endearing' paddywhackery and semi-idiocy. Moo-dog thinks we should pay tribute.
Bernard, ahem, "shot to fame" on ITV's Blind Date, a hit TV show in the 80s and 90s. The premise was that a singleton guy/gal would pick a dating partner from a selection of three giggling behind a screen and then head off on a date, with the programme producers fervently hoping they'd either have sex or alternatively, tear each others' eyeballs out in a row over the toothpaste. The dream scenario was actually that they'd do both, but it never happened. Incidentally, the title of the show was not literal in that the contestants themselves were not blind although after getting lumbered with some puck fugly dates, alot of them just wished they were.
Anyway, the bird/bloke would ask the three birds/blokes behind the screen a series of questions, hear saucy and clearly rehearsed answers in return, and then would dutifully umm and ahh to host Cilla Black before eventually making a selection. They would then go off on a holiday and come back on the show a week later to viciously slag each other off for the general amusement of a nation.
Into this viper's pit of modern decay, excess and disposable relationships innocently trod Bernard McHugh, a carrot-topped goofball from the arsehole of Donegal who in one night, and subsequently, undid all the efforts of everyone in Britain who had worked so hard to rid us of our stage Irish sterotype. I won't bore you with the gory details but there was a general air of being proud of a bad singing voice plus other shite about living at home with his Mammy and wanting a nice wee girl to settle down with - a poor man's ginger Daniel O'Donnell if you will.
I think Bernard managed to get himself selected as the date alright but it was his five minutes of fame beyond the Blind Date show that really got him well known. He did the full circuit - Gerry Ryan Show, Gerry Kelly show, other Gerry shows etc. Once, Terence McDanger even met him in the flesh. Doing one of his 'public appearances' at a local hotel, a very inebriated McD interrupted him in the middle of his rendition of Tom Jones' Delilah to whisper in his ear: 'you've gotsh ginger pubes. Hic' and furthermore, implore him to show us all his balls. He declined but Terence's mates loved it.
Anyway, Bernard is still milking it for all he's worth, occasionally showing up at high society functions like the opening of a tin of biscuits in Tourmakeddy or a fund raiser for a packet of pipe cleaners. What's worse, he's now stripping off to his speedos and other such malarkey, in a vain attempt at achieving notoriety. I've tried to post a picture of Bernard in his smalls but damn blogger won't publish - but on reflection I think this might not be such a bad thing.
I could write more but the more I think about this eejit the more depressed I get. When he hits 70 and looks back at his life what will he think?
Interesting footnote: Other contestants on Blind Date include The Panel funnyman Ed Byrne although he never mentions it any more, oddly, Amanda Holden who would go on to drive poor Les Dennis to near-madness and hosting Family Fortunes and last but not least, that absolute air-headed screeching, wailing spolit brat shithead Nikki off Big Brother.
Anyway, I'll be back again soon. I've decided on a new blog theme simply dealing with things I like and don't like. Mileage in that.
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