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29 Jun 2022

McHugh's Miscellany: Wagatha Christie meets Eurovision

McHugh's Miscellany

Derry's Brooke Scullion who represented Ireland at the Eurovision (Pic: Andres Poveda)

I don’t know what dragged me into the 'Wagatha Christie' case over the last week or so.
I still am asking myself the same question and pondering on whether too many late nights of not being able to sleep, had finally caught up with me.

The Wagatha thing has been twirling around the block for nearly two years, but when there has been nothing more than the stuttering and splattering over the NI Protocol by our friend Boris across the pond and the calamity of the continuing barbarity emanating from Ukraine, I like many others, just wanted to switch off for a while.

Wayne Rooney, who made his name with Everton, Manchester United, England and most recently Derby County

Up to then I would flick the channel, turn the page or if on the phone, scroll off any reference to it.
Then one news evening, I caught a glimpse of footballer Jamie Vardy's wife Rebekah with sunglasses striding into court and then a hobbling Coleen Rooney sauntering into court with husband Wayne in tow.
The latter now bearded and a different version of the Three Lions jersey wearer from some years back, strutting around Wembley or Old Trafford.
And I got sucked in.
In truth, as a writer, I just thought it was an ingenious headline, but on investigation I purloined it was actually a tweet in its original format.

The juxtaposition of the world’s most famous crime writer and the wife of a famous English footballer turning sleuth to flush out those who had been allegedly ratting to the media about things she was putting on her private Instagram postings.
It was a classic tabloid story and heading, a sub Editors dream.
And then to discover as with many things in life, there is even a dispute as to who came up with the tweeting reference and if a misspelling of the first original tweet by an English Comedian constituted the real tweet or some minutes later by someone else in London.


Both have had their Andy Warhol moment and I don’t intend to elongate the situation by repeating their names.
But isn’t it amazing that a quick fire response on Twitter and fleeting initial byproduct now introduces the case in every news item in television or column inches in the paper.
My greatest fear now is being dragged by fatigue into watching an episode of EastEnders or Coronation Street.

One can only ponder now on the unlikely outcome of the butler doing it . . . . 

What's another year!!

That is why it is hard to reveal equally that after a suitable hiatus of many years, I actually watched the Eurovision semi final with the young and talented Derry singer Brooke Scullion.

Brooke Scullion performing in  the semi finals last week. Pics: Andres Poveda

I didn't think she would win, but thought she easily deserved a place in the final. So, I was extremely disappointed with what materialised.
As a younger reporter I even attended the Eurovision final in Dublin in 1995, the year after Ballyshannon’s Charlie McGettgan and Paul Harrington won it with ‘Rock n' Roll kids.
A Norwegian entry 'Secret Garden' triumphed that year but there was an Irish violinist Fionnuala Sherry who helped steal the show.
Naturally, I suspect my presence that night correlates with the hex that we have never won it since.
And should it really not be renamed from a song contest to a theatrical pageant?

Brooke Scullion on stage in Turin. Pic Andres Poveda


Let us also recall the priceless gems when the worst song ever gets ‘douze points’ from a neighbouring country, but dropping to zero if unfriendly.
Thankfully distractions are part of everyday life, but in this case there was a proper ending with a victory for Ukraine.

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