Ohh, he’s like a little altar boy.”
Having my cheeks pinched by Father Jack while eating roast duck and potato dauphinoise was not something I had ever banked on.
Saying that, I never thought I’d get to meet my childhood television heroes, if not in the flesh, certainly in spirit. This was, without doubt, the most surreal show I have ever experienced.
We all know and love Ted, Dougal, Jack and Mrs Doyle, but this was a show with no stage – and once Ted had ‘blessed’ the audience (which involved large amounts of water) the impromptu dance routine to Will Smith’s Men in Black showed them in a completely new light.
The banter with the audience was flowing. Enforced karaoke, a ‘Mr and Mrs’ contest and Mrs Doyle’s stirring rendition of Celine Dion’s My Heart Will Go On – it shouldn’t have worked, but somehow it did.
The show ended with a nice touch – the Craggy Island Disco – complete with The Specials’ Ghost Town on repeat. The excitement of the crowd (this reporter included) could no longer be contained, and we were led into a merry conga, the likes of which the Alhambra’s 1914 resteraunt had not seen for many a year.
Whatever your beliefs, you’d hope that, somewhere, Dermot Morgan is smiling down that a character he made his own lives on almost 20 years after he first hit our screens.