Belfast Telegraph

Watch: Get a grip it's a normal autumn day - meet the man behind Big Fish's take on Storm Ophelia

By Jonathan Bell

Batten the hatches, prepare for the worst, get home early, raid the shop for essentials - catch a grip, says one Northern Ireland funny man.

Big Fish's alternative take on Monday's Storm Ophelia has gone viral.

In it, reporting from Carrickfergus, he said the people of Northern Ireland needed a dose of reality.

"It's a normal autumn day" he says.

"It's sunny, I've played football in hail stones....

"Get a grip we're Northern Irish, we are made of hard stuff."

The short video has been doing the rounds on social media with thousands watching it.

"Northern Ireland has a new hero," tweeted boxer Carl Frampton.

alan brennan.jpg
Alan Brennan

The man behind the video is Alan Brennan from Carrick.

"I went to the shop to get a pack of mince and the shutters were down, it was the last straw," the 33-year-old chef told the Belfast Telegraph.

"It was all over Facebook about this storm, the town was empty, the schools shut, I rang my dad and he told me to batten down the hatches, and all for a bit of a breeze? So I just took my phone out and recorded the video."

Since posting the 1 minute 20 clip thousands have shared the piece and over 400,000 have watched it.

As well as Frampton, boxer Tony Bellew, footballer Phil Neville and Coronation Street actor Charlie - big Jim - Lawson have all shared it with their thousands of followers.

"The phone hasn't stopped pinging, it's been unbelievable and our football team's Whatsapp group has been non-stop," said the Newington Rangers co-manager.

"I've loads of videos on my Facebook page, I just do them for my friends. I couldn't believe it when Carl Frampton tweeted it, I nearly fell off my seat."

Known as the "Big Fish" because of the way he used to drink (he's been off it for 16 months) Alan faced a bit of criticism for making light of the storm which killed three people in the Republic.

He continued: "People have been calling me all sorts for making a joke. For me I recorded it and posted it before I knew about any of that happening in the south.

"It was about me, from Northern Ireland and how my town was reacting to the storm. It did get more serious as the day went on. But the video was just something on the spur of the moment I thought I'd do and I didn't mean to annoy anyone."

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