Airs on BBC Northern Ireland on Wednesday 16th June, will run for 6 weeks and will be available on BBC Iplayer across the UK
Gotta watch this, released last year on RTE (Irish television) and about to air on the BBC. Funny as hell, absolutely nuts. Colin and Graham travel the world entering random sports representing Ireland. If we’re right, this is going to be a huge hit.
We managed to catch up with them to talk about the show…
Rogue: How did you get into this?
Graham: I was on a mission to a few years ago to become a world champion in something. I was writing a book about the experience, which culminated in Ireland winning the World Amateur Elephant Polo title in Nepal. I
was the self-elected Ireland captain, and picked my brother and mates for the Ireland team. including Colly. We had met quite by chance years before in a youth hostel in Zagreb. I was also making a TV programme on the Elephant Polo, which Colly decided should naturally flow into a TV programme about Sumo Wrestling… We then thought that representing Ireland in any sport which hadn’t previously had an Irish team would make a great series. It took us ages to select the right sports, and even longer to blag our way into the various championships. We have yet to repeat the Elephant Polo success..
Colin: Though I came through school practising pro-establishment sports (like rugby and tennis etc) I found them restrictive and not free-spirited enough.
After running into GL (Graham) in a minging hostel in Zagreb the plan was to hook up abroad and indulge in folly. And so we rocked up in Poland where we cut a single posing as a famous Irish boyband. Our bandname was ‘Kezi Munka’ which was the only Hungarian word we knew. It means Blow Job. (‘Kezi Munka’ is actually Hungarian for ‘hand job’, not ‘blow job’)
Anyway, we can’t sing for crap so our Polish boy-band fame was short-lived. It was decided we might have more luck posing as international sports stars. Months later we turned up in Latvia and competed in bobsleigh (I learned by watchin Cool Runnings) and ice hockey. As we can’t ice skate we stupidly insisted on full-contact hoping our rugby backgrounds might stand to us. But were not only humiliated but also beaten up.
That’s when GL came up with the inglorious idea of Elephant Polo. Will I ever forget the moment: there we were battered and bruised in Latvia about to head home with our tails between our legs and he pulls that likkle nugget out. Class, elephants. Well, sure you know we became elly polo world champs then in the jungle of Nepal and sports stardom here we come…!
R: What was the best/worst/funniest thing that happened to you whilst filming?
G: The best thing that happened was the fact that we didn’t die during the Torfaera off-road driving in Iceland. I was convinced this was going to be the end of the series almost before it had begun. It is without doubt the most dangerous thing I’ve ever done. The worst thing that happened was me getting crucified and Colin getting wrapped up in cling-film in a glass coffin in an empty Sado-Masochism fetish club in Munich. Ronan the Director thought a trip to the closed club would make essential viewing in the Hornsleigh programme. In the end, not a single frame was used…The funniest thing that happened was Colin’s ignominious exit from the World Sumo Championships.
C: The worst moment was riding high on my ellly in the jungle of Nepal with elephant polo world champ trophy tucked under me arm I became entralled by the size of the elephants ass in front of me. Now, if that ass had a g-string on it, the ellys ass could be mistaken for that of a sumo wrestler. And thus the sumo idea was born.
Sumo was mental. Truly. But the worst moment was when the reigning sumo world champ, who I got drawn against in the sumo world championships, swatted me out of the ring in under 1 second. It was so terrifying, so humiliating, so pauperising. Talk about coming back down to earth with a crash. And I hit the ground dazed. My first thought lying dazed on ground once thrown out of dohyo: why are hundreds of people starring at me. My second thought: shit, why am I wearing a white nappy.
Sumo made me reconsider my quest to become a sports star. GL and I, before going to Japan to compete in the World Champs, competed in the Austrian Open, naturally, in Austria. There GL broke my finger as we practised tossing each other around a hotel bedroom prior to our fighting for the first time in public. You should have seen the look on the cleaning ladies face when she walked into our hotel room, GL and I dressed only in nappys, grunting and grinding, and me complaining of a broken finger. Oh, for the record, neither of us is gay – suddenly feel prompted to clarify that!
There were a couple of really funny moments that stand out to me. At the Austrian Sumo Open. I told a huge German girl that GL’s nappy was loose and wondered if she might tie it as hard as she could. Moments later GL was getting the funniest wedgy I’ve ever seen as the mighty Helga bounced him up and own, GL acting like a yoyo and the end of his sumo nappy the string.
Bear (aka Ronan McCloskey, our director) got it into his head that we might all die of Japanese Encephalitis in the paddy fields of India where we did bull-surfing. He instilled paranoia in us all. Suddenly, I’m getting jabs for this remote disease while shooting Torfaera in Iceland. Phil O’Reilly, our sound sound-man, is travelling from Dublin to Belfast to get jabs as inoculations are not approved in Ireland…as tis soooo remote.
So we rock up in India and there he is, wonder boy, the Bear: out he pops from a loo dressed like Rambo in camoflage. Bear has brought a ridiculous breathing anti-japanese encephalitis suit!!! And nobody in India knows what we’re on about….as you probably now don’t. Then he gets lost in the jungle, camoflage boy, looking like the tree leaves. Bear is all the more a nut job as he truly thinks he’s making sense .. So its very difficult not to laugh into the camera all the time!
Ever since, Bear got the nickname Bear…. Cos he certainly isn’t a Bear Grylls!
R: What’s coming up in series 2?
G: We are trying to keep a low profile ahead of Series Two because we have very grand plans and don’t want to alert the various sports authorities, so we’ll not be revealing too much ahead of filming. But neither Colly, Ronan, Phil the Soundman or I believe in backwards steps, so rest assured that a new series will be wilder and more ambitious than series one. Keep an eye on www.grahamlittle.tv for further details…
C: I think we only now know what we are doing so we could really up the ante in the second series. Look, I hate sailing but have crewed off-shore for friends as they assured me the boat might sink. You see I find the notion of being sunk and ship-wrecked very romantic. It instils a feral instinct: fight to survive while in a beautiful body of water. The possibility of our second series gives me the same tickles up my spine….swimming in the untamable …..
As for the next event on my calander its the Paddy Games which takes place in Cork on 14th August. We are now recruiting teams to compete for their country. Sign up now, come to cork. The new forwards is running backwards: www.paddygames.ie