Saturday 23 September 2017

'For milking I've got to squeeze and pump' - city boy Al Porter gearing up for Big Week on the Farm

Al Porter
Al Porter
Melanie Finn

Melanie Finn

Comedian Al Porter will be ditching his smart ensembles this week in favour of some wellies and overalls as he takes part in RTE's Big Week On The Farm.

The Today FM star will appear as a guest presenter on Thursday as he joins Ella McSweeney and Aine Lawlor for a trip around the Shalvey family's farm in Cavan on the popular programme.

"I don't know if I'll be able to calf anything but I'll be milking cows, which I'm looking forward to," he said.

"I'm going to get wellies but I'm still going to wear a quintessential suit and bring a bit of showbiz to the whole occasion. There will be people on hand to give me their farming tips. I was told by a guy on the radio - sheep farmer Martin Gallagher - that for milking, what I've really got to do is that I've got to squeeze and pump."

Aoibhin Garrihy
Aoibhin Garrihy

Having grown up in south west Dublin, he admits his level of exposure to farming life has been limited.

"The thing is that Tallaght used to be all farmland when my parents moved out from Ballyfermot. They thought they were going to the countryside," he said.

Curious

"All I've ever gotten to see growing up though is the odd fox racing across the road or the deer that has to live on IT Tallaght's ground.

"To be honest, my interest in agriculture and farming comes from not having been exposed to it.

"I've always been curious because it's something I haven't seen growing up.

"I think if you grew up down the country, you might be going, 'Ah, feck off. It's normal'. But it's not for me, it's rare."

Al is just one of a number of well-known faces who will be pottering about on the farm this week.

Other guests will include champion jockey Ruby Walsh, comedian Pat Shortt and TV presenter and model Vogue Williams.

Last night it was the turn of Dancing With The Stars finalist Aoibhin Garrihy.

In a far cry from her usual glamorous appearances on the Sunday night dancing show, viewers watched as she got a little bit more than she bargained for during the Pull The Udder One milking challenge.

It was back to nature for the actress as her cream jumper unfortunately ended up covered in cow muck during the task.

But she's apparently no stranger to the outdoor life and actually spent a lot of time on a farm as a child, as she revealed to RTE Radio 1's Ray D'Arcy.

knowledge

"I was on my grandad's farm last week when we were filming the VT for the final of Dancing With The Stars and Vitali was lifting the little lambs," she said.

"My grandad is a farmer and my uncle has now taken over. I certainly remember summers spent on the farm with grandad.

"But it's been a while, though, I kind of need to brush up on my knowledge of all things farming."

Read more: Al Porter: 'Gerry Ryan's my inspiration'

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