Irish News

Tuesday 29 July 2014

Callan no stranger to controversy

Edel O'Connell

Published 21/10/2011|05:00

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Satirical comedian Oliver Callan
Kerry footballer Paul Galvin allegedly became angry after comic references were made about him and TV presenter Grainne Seoige

FUNNYMAN Oliver Callan's acerbic wit and talent for mimicry has made him a household name.

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The Monaghan man who started out as a newsreader found his niche when he teamed up with Mario Rosenstock on the Today FM show, 'Gift Grub'.

However, following a dispute with Rosenstock he moved to RTE, where he started 'Nob Nation', a show that satirised topical events through use of wordplay, accents and mimicry.

He is also one of the driving forces behind new satirical show 'Green Tea' on RTE Radio 1, which airs on Saturday at lunchtime.

Callan has seen his own share of controversy, including being told by Brian Cowen's advisers to "go easy" when he famously portrayed our former leader as a drunken Taoiseach.

Earlier this year he found himself at the centre of a legal action over a 2008 sketch in which one of his characters wrongly described The Maryland as a byword for prostitution in Waterford.

The owner of The Maryland House, 84-year-old Vincent O'Toole, sued RTE, claiming he was defamed when the comedian described the premises as a byword for prostitution. Mr O'Toole was awarded €70,000.

Callan claimed he was referring to the district of Maryland in Waterford and had not meant to cause offence.

His 'Nob Nation' parodies were extremely popular and on being released as an album in 2007 outdid stars as big as Bruce Springsteen in the Irish charts.

Callan regularly targets Paul Galvin on 'Green Tea' and did so recently in a sketch that featured the Kerry footballer urging Taoiseach Enda Kenny to "man up" by giving him a body-wax.

Irish Independent

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