Ploughing Championships

Wednesday 30 July 2014

RTE star Joe Duffy a hit with ploughing crowd

Published 26/09/2013|15:53

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Joe Duffy presents Live Line from the Ploughing Championships
Joe Duffy presents Live Line from the Ploughing Championships
The crowd applauds Joe Duffy
Sil Fox, centre, and Frank Twomey, right, join Joe Duffy for a special edition of Live Line at the Ploughing Championships

HE’S been there every year for the last 17 years.

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But RTE broadcaster Joe Duffy says he’s ‘gobsmacked’ by the size of this year’s crowd at the National Ploughing Championships.

Attendance records for this year’s ploughing are due to break all records, with almost 200,000 people expected to have visited over its three-day duration.

“I’ve been going to the ploughing since the Gay Byrne Show – every year for 17 years. I never miss it.

“I think this year is the biggest ever – I’m gobsmacked by the size of the crowd.

“It’s a combination of the weather and the location. It’s the biggest crowd ever, you can sense that by just walking around,” the RTE broadcaster told Independent.ie.

“I love it and there’s a fantastic atmosphere. People are in great form.”

The Liveline host was there today – the final day of the three-day event - for a live broadcast of his ‘Funny Thursday’ edition of ‘Liveline’.

Seeing as it’s one of the country’s most listened-to radio programmes, it will come as no surprise to see that the RTE tent was mobbed with visitors when Joe took to the mic.

Joining him were his regular ‘Funny Friday’ panellists, comedienne June Rogers, Sil Fox, Doc Savage, Frank Twomey and Packie O’Connor.

“It’s old style humour and people love it,” Joe explained.

The broadcaster subscribes to the same theory as Mrs Brown creator, Brendan O’Carroll, who says there’s an absence in TV schedules for such comedy.

“The ratings speak for themselves,” Joe said.

“Brendan O’Carroll was only telling me recently that his Mrs Brown repeats are in the top five every week. It was no 1 in the UK and no 1 in Australia. The ratings really do speak for themselves.”

This evening, Joe will be attending the first night of the Dublin Theatre Festival.

“I’ll be going with David Duffy as the show tonight will be based around the circus.”

Joe and his wife June are parents of 18-year-old triplets – two of whom are beginning university this month.

“One is starting in Trinity and the other in St Pat’s. The other son is in Australia where he’s on a mid-term break. He’s sky-diving, quad-biking, abseiling and having the time of his life.”

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