Dublin: 10 °C Saturday 20 April, 2024
helicopter job

The great story of Moby flying Ardal O'Hanlon into Slane to sing My Lovely Horse

He’s a big Father Ted fan, apparently.

EARLIER THIS WEEK, Ardal O’Hanlon appeared on Alan Davies’ round table chat show As Yet Untitled on Dave.

He was on with Melanie C from the Spice Girls, actress and writer Jessica Knappett and comedian Jamali Maddix to talk about… well, anything that came up.

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As spotted by Reddit user ContiGhostwood, amid all the anecdotes and experiences being shared, Ardal told an excellent story from all the way back in September 2001.

It was about Moby, Father Ted and 80,000 fans at Slane.

“Moby was a big fan of a sitcom I did years ago called Father Ted and I knew this because I’d been at a comedy festival in New York and there was one little event, a Q&A, about that show. There was 40 people at it and he was one of them – and he was sitting there asking all these nerdy questions about Father Ted.”

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Ardal continued:

“About a year later, he was in Ireland at this big massive festival [Slane] and he asked me to sing a song from the show on stage in front of 80,000 people. It’s a song called My Lovely Horse.”

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Turns out Jessica Knappett is a *big* fan of the song

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The momentous Ireland Holland soccer match in Lansdowne Road – the one featuring Jason McAteer’s goal – nearly scuppered the request though, as Ardal recalls:

I was so terrified, I mean I’m used to playing crowds, you know standup crowds around the place but like I never experienced anything like that.
I remember Ireland were playing Holland in a World Cup qualifier that day so my initial reaction was ‘I can’t do it’ because I was watching the match.

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Moby wasn’t taking no for an answer though:

He said ‘no problem’, as soon as the match was over I got into a helicopter with him and we swooped from Dublin down to Slane – about 40 miles away – swooped down over the 80,000 people and the castle and it was such an amazing experience.

Supporting U2 on the day,  Moby revealed his special guest to the crowd


Ardal was shook:

This was a massive thrill, but it was also terrifying because what happens is the energy is so weird that I went blind and I went deaf momentarily and I have no memory of the actual experience of singing the song in front 80,000 people.

Unfortunately, Mel C hadn’t heard the song before so she couldn’t sing it for Alan Davies and the crowd

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Ardal gave it a bit of a go though.

Unfortunately, video of the event hasn’t surfaced:

I have no recollection of it, and there’s no footage of it.
We hardly spoke at all. A helicopter is really noisy so you can’t really talk anyway, and the next thing I’m thrown to the wolves out there and it’s so weird. I shrunk up there, you just feel so slight – but the energy, the noise the waves. You can hardly stand up. The energy coming off them – they all knew it.

You’d have to assume that all 80,000 people knew every single word that day


A unique set of circumstances that saw Moby supported by Father Dougal Maguire.


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