Friday 20 April 2018

Irish dancers put on reel-ly good show on BBC's Newsnight

Linda McGrory

Newsnight viewers were left reeling last night when Jeremy Paxman chose to close the BBC2 show with two champion Irish dancers.

The World Irish Dancing Championships will take place in London this week for the first time in their 44-year history.

Paxman invited two young world champions, Gerard Byrne from Co Donegal and Julia O'Rourke from New York to perform to close the iconic current affairs programme with a hard-shoe reel.

A smiling Paxman even showed off the glittering trophy that dancers from around the world will compete for this weekend.

The poker-faced newsman declared that young Gerard and Julia “know a thing or two about a reel”.

The World Irish Dancing Championships will welcome between 15,000 – 20,000 people to London over the Easter weekend.

Even London Mayor Boris Johnson got in on the act.

"It is brilliant news that this globally admired and historic aspect of Irish culture is dancing right to our doorstep in London. With thousands of people expected to come and soak up the atmosphere, the championships will be a fantastic jamboree of dance and a vital boost to London’s economy," said Johnson.

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