Belfast Telegraph

Saturday 20 December 2014

Billy on the Box: Country Fest and Milk Cup

All week on our local news channels we were being bombarded by strangers to these shores coming to entertain large crowds of people in strange clothes who really should know better.

And I'm not just talking about Pamela Ballantine's disturbing attire during UTV's shameless plugging of Country Fest, but the whole posse hot-footing it from Belfast and getting off their horses and lapping up the Milk Cup on BBC1NI.

Mind you, when Jackie ‘Quick on the Drawl' Fullerton and Liam ‘Buffalo' Beckett ride into town it's not so much John Wayne as thon weans.

Ol Sheriff Stephen ‘Live' Watson was joined by many able deputies in the shape of Chris Morgan-Day (that is his full name), Stephen ‘Biddy' Baxter, Paul ‘Babyface' Gilmore and Michael ‘still shamefully under-used' McNamee but when it came to the final final, it was time to send for the big gnus, sorry, guns.

First up was Northern Ireland v Denmark in the Elite Final, the Danes sponsored by Dong Energy I see, while the young men in green were clearly sponsored by how many times could it be mentioned that striker Josh Magennis used to be a goalkeeper.

Sadly Cecilia Daly didn't make the trip to Coleraine, thus leaving it to Baxter, holding an umbrella over Beckett's head to save his hair from getting soaked, to tell us that the Danes wouldn't fancy the lashing rain. How they must have longed for the scorching heat of Odense.

Then good ol' boy Boxcar Beckett came out of the elements and into his country element, clearly angling for an invite to the King's Hall, when he bemoaned the absence of the Danes' star striker Kristofferson, not Kris, before speaking fluent Ballymoney to talk about the ‘wund' and the ‘camradry' on show.

He was then taken to the commentary box where there were several red button options for the watching audience from across the globe — English, mute or North Antrim. I chose the latter and it was wile good.

They aren't many Ngoos about Dervock, thus when the Manchester United striker scored the opener against the Blades (that's Sheffield United, not the wee girls who follow the Milk Cup), it proved problematic.

“The big man in Goo” had my mind boggling but when Liam started about people ‘swuvelling' to send in a cross I was reassured normal service had resumed.

Mind you at half-time when Gavin ‘a glass of' Andrews was on the sidelines with a man with huge hair and baffling attire I thought Alan Simpson had gone all hopalong by slipping off the multi-coloured moccasins and bounding about but it turned out to be some Pro Jumpers, which has absolutely nothing to do with attire needed by ladies of the night north of Glarryford.

And so in the blink of an eye it was all over for another year, the drenched Milk Cup girls looking as if they'd been involved in an explosion in a Tippex factory while the painful MooTV slot left us all feeling as if we'd been covered in another bovine-based liquid.

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