Belfast Telegraph

Friday 24 October 2014

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
Ian Paisley demonstrates at Stormont in 1981
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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