Thursday 27 April 2017

Cream of the crop - farmers top festive calendar chart for the second year running

Nick Bramhill

Ireland's farmers are once again cream of the crop, having raced to the top of the Christmas calendar charts for the second year in a row.

The hugely popular farming-themed 2017 calendar - which features country lads posing topless - has not only repeated its surprise chart-topping success of last year, but has also become an unlikely hit in countries as diverse as Iceland and Japan for the first time.

While he may have missed out on the top spot in the calendar charts, newly crowned RTÉ Sportsperson of the Year, Conor McGregor, is the highest-placed newcomer in the festive table.

A stellar year as the sport's first two-weight world champion has helped the Irish UFC star land fourth place in the seasonal chart, according to The Calendar Club, who compiled the chart after analysing sales across its 25 outlets in Ireland.

As ever, Premier League clubs are well represented in the table, with Manchester United in second spot and Liverpool in third position.

However, it's the Irish Farmer calendar, now in its eighth year and which helps raise funds for third-world charity Bóthar, which is once again the biggest seller.

Ciara Ryan, the calendar's founder, said: "I'm amazed at the news, to be honest. We topped the charts last year for the first time, and I really never thought we'd be able to repeat that.

"It all started off as a bit of fun eight years ago and my expectations of it were never that high, but it's just struck a chord with people. It's not your typical calendar and there's a quirky humour to it. It just puts a smile on people's faces and I think that's the secret of its success."

She added: "I've been getting orders from all over the world, including the usual countries like the US and the UK, but over the past few weeks I've noticed it's been selling well in countries I wouldn't have expected, like Finland, the Netherlands and Iceland. The calendar also got a good plug on Japanese TV recently, and because of that, I've had a few sales over in Japan."

Donna Laughlin, Ireland territory manager of The Calendar Club, also noted that the fifth position of The Grassmen wall chart - which features images of farm machinery - indicates farmers are back in vogue.

Farmer Norton Greene from Tipperary. Photo: Ian Shipley
Farmer Norton Greene from Tipperary. Photo: Ian Shipley

Elsewhere in the table, pop acts Justin Bieber and Little Mix are in sixth and ninth spots respectively.

Irish Independent

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