Topless Rihanna rattles Northern Ireland farmer with risque video shoot
If you're a global superstar visiting Northern Ireland, where do you go? A roadside in north Down, of course. Patrice Dougan follows the trail of Rihanna
A Northern Ireland politician had some stern words for Rihanna - one the world's biggest selling music stars, for dancing inappropriately in his field.
Rihanna was shooting her new video al fresco near Ballyrobert yesterday when her actions were deemed too raunchy for some.
Indeed, DUP Alderman and farmer Alan Graham even asked the 23-year-old singing sensation to stop filming her new song in the grain field, which he owns.
The Bajan beauty, who is in Northern Ireland ahead of her three sell-out shows at the Odyssey Arena this weekend, had been working on her new video for We Found Love with Scottish DJ Calvin Harris when she met the Bangor councillor.
“I did not know on Friday who was coming, but if the name Rihanna had have been mentioned to me the name would have meant nothing to me,” the Co Down man said.
“When the filming did become to my mind unacceptable I requested the filming to stop.”
Alderman Graham was out in the field in his tractor when he said he saw the star taking her clothes off.
“It became apparent to me that the situation was becoming inappropriate and I requested them to stop and they did stop,” he told Good Morning Ulster.
“I had my conversation with Rihanna regarding that and I hope she understands where I’m coming from and we shook hands and we parted company on good enough terms.
“The filming was taking place on my land and I have an ethos and I felt that that was inappropriate and that’s why I requested it to stop and I do think the shoot did end then.”
Yesterday started with rumours spreading on the internet that the singer was filming in Bangor.
It seemed pretty unlikely to many, but we hot-footed it down the A2 Belfast to Bangor road to check it out. And it wasn’t long before a line of film lorries, caravans, catering, minibuses and cars gave away that something was going on.
Parked on the hard-shoulder beside Ballygilbert Presbyterian Church were two Mercedes with blacked-out windows, and half-a-dozen burly security guards.
Lots of people with walkie-talkies and clipboards were also running around the place looking busy.
There was a double-decker bus full of young female dancers in denim shorts and checked shirts. Others walked around in wellies, looking like there were at a festival. A few inquiries later and it emerged Rihanna was indeed inside one of the caravans getting ready to be taken up to the field for filming.
There was a growing number of Press now, and we set up camp opposite the caravan, on the other side of the dual-carriageway.
A mini-bus brought a constant stream of dancers to and from the roadside camp to the film-set. Friends and numerous entourage members entered and exited Rihanna’s caravan.
It was all very secretive as a blanket was put in place on the inside of the door so nothing was revealed as people came and went bringing food, clothes and shoes for the star.
Two hours, more photographers and plenty of fans later, it looked like she was going to show herself. A white pick-up truck pulled up in front of the door of the caravan, and before you could blink the singer was out and inside it.
A cheer went up from the waiting fans, but she was away.
Everyone dashed a mile up the road to the film set, where police had cordoned off one lane and the singer and her crew had taken over a field. Reportedly the site was chosen because someone on her team liked the look of a tree located there.
She was driven down into the film set, but with a high hedge blocking the view fans could see only a few marquees and some lights.
Music could be heard and smoke rose above the hedges.
After half-an-hour a group began walking from the set up to the road. Then the words began to ring out through the crowd of waiting fans — “there she is”, “that’s Rihanna”, “it’s her”.
Near the back of the group and flanked by a bodyguard was Rihanna.
She removed a brightly-coloured stripy blanket from around her shoulders and walked to the entrance of the field before getting into the white truck.
Dressed in pale-blue ripped jeans, an American flag string bikini-top and a stars and stripes denim waistcoat, the singer waved to her fans from inside the car. She cheekily stuck her tongue out and smiled to the crowd.
Alex Arnson (16), from Bangor, said she was excited about seeing the superstar.
“I’m in the same airspace as Rihanna, that’s pretty special,” she said.