Belfast Telegraph

Saturday 25 April 2015

Laurence White: Chuckle brothers could have a comeback tour

Shared laughter between the then First Minister Ian Paisley and Deputy First Minister Martin McGuinness in May 2007
Shared laughter between the then First Minister Ian Paisley and Deputy First Minister Martin McGuinness in May 2007
Ian Paisley demonstrates at Stormont in 1981
Ian Paisley and Peter Robinson are taken away by police in Armagh after protesting a vist by Charles Haughey in 1980
Ian Paisley at a protest rally at Carrickfergus Castle in 1971
Ian Paisley and Martin McGuinness show Scottish First Minister Alex Salmond how to play a Lambeg Drum
New York, New York: First Minister Ian Paisley and deputy First Minister Martin McGuinness after they rang the opening bell at the Nasdaq in Times Square
Ian Paisley, left, and Martin McGuinness, right, attend the opening of the New Victoria Shopping complex in Belfast
Deputy First Minister Martin McGuinness and First Minister Ian Paisley
Bush, center, meets with Ian Paisley and Martin McGuinness Friday, Dec. 7, 2007, in the Oval Office of the White House in Washington
Bush, center, meets with Ian Paisley and Martin McGuinness Friday, Dec. 7, 2007, in the Oval Office of the White House in Washington
Bush meets with Ian Paisley and Martin McGuinness
Democratic Presidential hopeful, Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton, shares a laugh with Ian Paisley and Martin McGuinness
Democratic Presidential hopeful, Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton, with Martin McGuinness and Ian Paisley
Sen. Edward Kennedy, D-Mass., center, meets with Northern Ireland leaders Ian Paisley, left, and Martin McGuinness, Thursday, Dec. 6, 2007 on Capitol Hill in Washington
Sen. Edward Kennedy, D-Mass., right, greets Northern Ireland's leaders Ian Paisley, left, and Martin McGuinness, center, Thursday, Dec. 6, 2007, on Capitol Hill in Washington
Northern Ireland leaders, Ian Paisley, right, and Martin McGuinness, left, talk on Capitol Hill in Washington, Thursday, Dec. 6, 2007, with Rep. Richard Neal, D-Mass., second from right, and Rep. Jim Walsh, R-N.Y.
Ian Paisley, left, and Martin McGuinness hold a news conference in Washington, Thursday, Dec. 6, 2007
Things are looking up: Northern Ireland First Minister Ian Paisley, right, and Deputy First Minister Martin McGuinness in New York look around Times Square after visiting the Nasdaq stock exchange in New York, Wednesday Dec. 5, 2007
Northern Ireland First Minister Ian Paisley, right, and Deputy First Minister Martin McGuinness in New York after they rang the opening bell, Wednesday Dec. 5, 2007
Northern Ireland First Minister Ian Paisley, right, and Deputy First Minister Martin McGuinness in New York after they rang the opening bell, Wednesday Dec. 5, 2007
Northern Ireland First Minister Ian Paisley, right, and Deputy First Minister Martin McGuinness are seen off-stage at the Nasdaq Stock Market broadcast center in New York after they rang the opening bell, Wednesday Dec. 5, 2007
Martin McGuiness, third from left, Northern Ireland's Deputy First Minister, and First Minister Ian Paisley, third from right, are joined by business leaders as they ring the opening bell at the Nasdaq stock exchange in New York, Wednesday Dec. 5, 2007
Martin McGuiness, left, Northern Ireland's Deputy First Minister, and Ian Paisley, right, First Minister, react after ringinging the opening bell at the Nasdaq stock exchange in New York, Wednesday Dec. 5, 2007
New York City Council Speaker Christine Quinn, right, greets Northern Ireland First Deputy Minister Martin McGuiness, left, as Northern Ireland Bureau director Norman Houston, second from left, and Irish First Minister Ian Paisley look on during a luncheon sponsored by the Northern Ireland Bureau in New York, Tuesday, Dec. 4, 2007
Northern Ireland's First Minister Ian Paisley, left, Deputy First Minister Martin McGuiness, right, and AVX Corporation CEO and President John S. Gillbertson pose at a luncheon hosted by the Northern Ireland Bureau in New York, Tuesday, Dec. 4, 2007
Pictured from left to right, Kieran McLoughlin, president of the American Ireland Fund, Loretta Brennan Glucksman, chairman of the American Ireland Fund, the two leaders of Northern Ireland's newly devolved government, Deputy First Minister Martin McGuiness, First Minister Dr. Ian Paisley, Junior Minister Ian Paisley Jr., Duncan L. Niederauer, CEO of the NYSE Euronext, and Nigel Dodds, MP MLA, Minister of Enterprise, Trade and Investment, during a photo opportunity at the New York Stock Exchange, Monday, Dec 3, 2007 in New York.
Loretta Brennan Glucksman, left, chairman of The American Ireland Fund, and Junior Minister Ian Paisley Jr., right, join the two leaders of Northern Ireland's newly devolved government, First Minister Dr. Ian Paisley, center right, and Deputy First Minister Martin McGuinness, center left, as they hold the gavel for a photo opportunity at the New York Stock Exchange, Monday, Dec., 3, 2007
First Minister Dr. Ian Paisley, right, and Deputy First Minister Martin McGuinness, left, speak to the media as they depart the New York Stock Exchange, Monday, Dec., 3, 2007.
Pictured from left to right, First Minister Dr. Ian Paisley, his wife Eileen, and Deputy First Minister Martin McGuinness, say goodbye to a NYSE representative as they depart the New York Stock Exchange, Monday, Dec 3, 2007
The two leaders of Northern Ireland's newly devolved government, First Minister Dr Ian Paisley, right, and Deputy First Minister Martin McGuinness, left, depart the New York Stock Exchange, Monday, Dec. 3, 2007, in New York.
Mayor Michael Bloomberg, center, and Martin McGuiness, right, Northern Ireland's Deputy First Minister, listens as Ian Paisley, Northern Ireland's First Minister, speaks during a meeting at City Hall in New York, Monday, Dec. 3, 2007.
Martin McGuiness, left, Northern Ireland's Deputy First Minister, Ian Paisley, Northern Ireland's First Minister, center, and Mayor Michael Bloomberg, right, react as they listen during a meeting at City Hall in New York, Monday, Dec. 3, 2007. Paisley and McGuinness are on their first US trip together to drum up business for Northern Ireland's economy.
Duncan L. Niederauer, center, CEO of the New York Stock Exchange, presents a gift to the two leaders of Northern Ireland's newly devolved government, First Minister Dr. Ian Paisley, right, and Deputy First Minister Martin McGuiness, left, at a breakfast held by the American Ireland Fund, at the New York Stock Exchange, Monday, Dec., 3, 2007. The two leaders made a joint presentation to a business audience of the case for United States investment in Northern Ireland.
Ian Paisley and Martin McGuinness
First Minister Dr Ian Paisley and Deputy First Minister Martin McGuinness take a break during the opening
Ian Paisley
Former DUP leader Ian Paisley reacts to questioning from the media outside Castle Buildings
Ian Paisley at DUP HQ in 1985. The party leader held a sledge hammer to depict his 'smash Sinn Fein' message
Former DUP leader Ian Paisley wearing the traditional red beret of paramilitary group the Ulster Resistance in Ulster Hall
Ian Paisley leaves Crumlin Road jail in the 60s

Ian Paisley and Martin McGuinness were — and by all account still are — a rare double act.

Last week in this newspaper Mr McGuinness revealed that the pair — famously dubbed the Chuckle Brothers during their time at the head of the power-sharing Executive — still keep in regular touch.

They seem to have developed a real personal relationship, as opposed to a political one. Not bad considering that Mr McGuinness frankly says that he despised Mr Paisley for most of his adult life. There is little doubt that the feeling in those days was mutual.

Yet both seem to have found a side to each other vastly different from their public personas. On a personal basis both can be, in Northern Ireland terms, good craic. Both are quite puritan in their outlook.

Mr McGuinness also revealed that the media often request that they get back together to make joint appearances. It makes them sound like Simon and Garfunkel — the one-time famous American pop duo.

It is bound to happen any day soon. Look out for posters announcing the Ormeau Park reunion gig featuring Ian and Martin. Maybe not.

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