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Irish Chose A Real Turkey For Eurovision

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Shaky Fan

Joined: 11 Dec 2006
Posts: 628

PostPosted: Sat Feb 23, 2008 10:46 pm    Post subject: Irish Chose A Real Turkey For Eurovision Reply with quote

Well it seems that not content with sending a turkey to last years Eurovision the Irish have decided to do it again!


Dustin the Turkey, was first seen on RTÉ's popular children's show "Dempsey's Den" in 1990. Dustinwas initially introduced as a character when one of the puppets, Zag, who was trying to join the upper classes, entered a golf tournament with Tony Fenton the 2FM DJ and came last. The prize was a Christmas turkey, and a chance to meet movie star Dustin Hoffman. The puppet (supposedly "a turkey vulture) then joined the popular children's TV programme "Dempsey's Den", with Zig and Zag but remained with the show after their 1993 departure. He also outlasted four human co-hosts, including Ray D'Arcy with whom he will be re-introduced in Eurosong 2008 as the popular Kildare man presents the show.

Dressed in a green parka jacket and sporting a thick Dublin accent, Dustin soon bacame the star of "The Den" (renamed after the departure of Ian Dempsey), with his often vitriolic comments on famous Irish celebrities gaining him much attention and occasionally causing more than a little controversy, given the show's young audience. Dustin soon began to make appearances outside of The Den, including an annual appearance on "The Late Late Show" Christmas toy show, often making fun of the presenters Gay Byrne and more recently 1988 Eurovision host Pat Kenny , indeed Kenny has been one of Dustin's biggest targets down through the years. More recently he has turned his attention to the many other Irish television personalities, including Eddie Hobbs, Ryan Tubridy and Derek Mooney.

The character of Dustin has expanded over the years, and he also claims to be a builder where he conforms to the stereotype, going on continual tea breaks, and indicating that he is prepared to do dodgy deals with anybody, including certain well known politicians. Indeed Dustin entered the political fray and has declared on numerous occasions, an interest in politics and running for office.

In the past, he has mockingly run campaigns for a number of presidential elections and on one famous occasional he managed to gain more votes than the Fine Gael (the second biggest party in Ireland) candidate in an area of South Dublin, by people writing "Dustin the Tukey" on their ballot papers. In his mock campaigns, he ran as a representative of "Fianna Fowl" (word play on Ireland's largest political party Fianna Fáil) and also of the 'Poultry Party'. His campaign manifestos have included promising "to bring the DART (Dublin rail system) to Dingle (a town on the west coast of Ireland)", as well as making sure every young boy in Ireland got to go on a date with the Spice Girl of their choice.

Despite the fact that almost uniquely among Irish comedy acts, he has never received request by RTÉ to tone down his act for a mainstream audience, he still targets "culchies" (a name Dubliners use to describe anyone from outside the city) and especially people from Leitrim (Ireland's most sparsely populated county, although his good natured banter seems to be popular with all. However over the past few years, some have felt that the caracter of Dustin has somewhat lost his edge, and in September 2005, after 18 years, Dustin left The Den and got his own show, DDN (Dustin's Daily News", a tongue in cheek entertainment show, which remains popular with a young audience. You can see some clips of Dustin on the show's website.

Through the years Dustin's attire has also changed, which the character now sporting more psychedelic shirts. This trend may have come about because of Dustin's hugely successful paralled career as a recording star. While other former big recording acts like Clannad and Johnny Logan went on to success after performing in Irish Eurovision selection contest, Dustin is is the biggest selling act to compete in a Irish final, in many years.

Dustin first taste of chart success came as a guest artist on Zig and Zag's "Christmas Number one" in 1990, a song that lived up to its title. Dustin launched his own recording career in 1994, with a cover of the traditional song "Spanish Lady", accompanied by Ronnie Drew of The Dubliners and popular Galway group The Saw Doctors and it topped the Irish charts for four weeks. A cover version of U2's "Numb" which featured repeated loud and repeated farting noises followed, and began a long series of rather irreverant cover versions.

In 1996, Dustin teamed up with former leader of the Boomtown Rats and Band Aid founder Bob Geldof, taking a cover of the Rats hit "Rat Trap" to the top of the Irish charts for three weeks. A year later Dustin teamed up with another famous Irish music star, Joe Dolan, and a cover of Joe's hit "Good Looking Woman" also topped the Irish charts. In 1999, Dustin returned to the top of the charts with "32 Counties", an original song poking fun at people from various parts of the island of Ireland.

In 2001, Dustin once again went to #1 in Ireland, with his rather unique interpretation of Neil Diamond's hit "Sweet Caroline". Dustin's most recent Irish hit is another collaboration, this time with Chris De Burgh (left) on Chris's hit "Patricia The Stripper". This reached number 3 in Ireland in 2003. Dustin has also released a series of hit albums, including a "Greatest Hits" collection in 2001, and most recently "Bling When You're Minging" in 2005.

Despite his established musical career, Dustin has been a controversial selection as one of the six finalists in Eurosong 2008. Many feel that sending Dustin to Eurovision in Belgrade would simply be a novelty act too far, while others feel that having finished last in the contest in 2007, Ireland is simply giving up on taking the competition seriously. Nevertheless, the publicity generated by Dustin's participation has brought attention to the Eurovision selection, that it would never otherwise have gained. Meanwhile bookmakers have seen a flood of money, not only on Dustin winning the Irish selection, but also going on to win the Eurovision Song Contest in Belgrade. While many may feel that this might signal another nail in the Eurovision coffin, it should be remembered that the contest has a long history of novelty acts, and few countries have send an entrant to the competition, who has a history of six number one hits and a series of big selling albums.

One of the unforseen results of Dustin's participation in Eurosong, and the publicity it generated was to unmask the man behind the puppet after Johnny Morrision managed to keep his identy under wraps for almost twenty years. In Eurosong Dustin will be accompanied by a female singer and it is believed that Dustin's main contribution to "Irland Douze Points" is performing a rap which includes mentioning several Eastern European countries and a exhaltation to dance on what has been described as "techno-lite" track. Dustin's involvement, both as a performer and co-songwriter has overshadowed his fellow songwriters Darren Smith and Simon Fine but both are established music professions who have worked with Dustin in the past, and Darren Smith will be familar to Eurovision fans, as he was one of the "You're A Star" judges in the first series of the show, when Mickey Harte went to Eurovision.

(courtesy of allkindsofeverything.ie)
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Joined: 07 Dec 2006
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PostPosted: Sun Feb 24, 2008 9:22 am    Post subject: Reply with quote


1. It's rubbish. Rolling Eyes

2. It's a big two fingers at Eurovision. Cool

3. It's got more chance than the UK entry, whatever that might be. Laughing

4. It's got no chance. Sad
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PostPosted: Sun Feb 24, 2008 10:34 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Not sure anyone will get it apart from people in the UK & Ireland. So that guarantees it about 12 points and no more.

However its good to see Terry Wig-on getting a mention Wink

And an apology for launching Michael Flately's career is long overdue Smile
His name was ernie ........ and he drove the fastest milk cart in the west.....
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Shaky Fan

Joined: 11 Dec 2006
Posts: 628

PostPosted: Sun Feb 24, 2008 12:26 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Irish journalist Brendan O'Connor has suggested that Dustin wouldn't be the first "bird with a big beak and a nasal twang" to do well in the contest.

What a difference 20 years makes.... Smile
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