Belfast Telegraph

Sunday 20 April 2014

Petulant Bieber owed fans a decent apology

Father Ted is a regular reference point for me. So many of its characters resonate strongly in modern Britain.

When I hear Nelson McCausland is chairing an important meeting at Stormont, I think of Father Dougal greeting parishioners at Mass, his bewildered eyes goggling wide, his terrified face more overwhelmed with each introduction. When I read of the Vatican 'cabal' I get flashes of Bishop Brennan in a Jacuzzi. And when the words 'Justin Bieber' enter conversation I see Dougal's hero, the rebellious ear-pierced Father Damo, a shoulder-shrugging, monosyllabic Kevin the Teenager who mocks Dougal for preferring Blur to Oasis and screams 'I'll be in in a minute!' when informed his dinner's ready.

Bieber's fans are mostly children. It's likely they've been counting down the days to his concert for a long time. For some of them it'll be their very first live gig – potentially the most exciting night of their lives so far. So when he leaves them waiting for two hours and holds back all the familiar songs they've been waiting literally years to sing along to until most of them have gone, he's letting them down badly. He's breaking their hearts. No matter whether you approve of Bieber fans or not, theirs are tender souls and they'll be badly bruised.

As for Bieber's apology – a quick sorry on Twitter, tempered with a petulant 'I'm not okay with things being exaggerated'? Father Damo would love it.

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