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phone hopping Pat Spillane reflects on the public's 'mega' reaction to his appearance on RTÉ's Living With Lucy

Pats says the show exposed him to completely different demographic than the usual die-hard GAA fans

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Lucy Kennedy and Pat Spillane on Living with Lucy. Photo: Virgin Media TV

Lucy Kennedy and Pat Spillane on Living with Lucy. Photo: Virgin Media TV

Lucy Kennedy and Pat Spillane on Living with Lucy. Photo: Virgin Media TV

I’ve always known the power of television. One cross word from me about Dublin, Tyrone, Mayo or, God help us, Kerry footballers on the Sunday Game has often brought criticism raining down on top of me.

But I’ve never known anything like the reaction to last night’s ‘Living with Lucy’ show, my phone and Rosarii’s phone have been hopping all morning, with calls and texts of congratulations from people I haven’t met in years and people I don’t know at all.

Neighbours are calling over to say how much they enjoyed seeing our area getting an hour’s full exposure on national television. Frankly it’s been mega, that’s the only word I can think of. For a few hours this morning, we were just astonished by it all, and the positivity of it all.

It took me a while to twig why. But of course the answer is that last night’s show exposed me to a completely different demographic than the Sunday Game, which gets huge viewing numbers, but who are, in the main, die-hard GAA fans.

Last night at 9pm on Virgin Media, people discovered a whole new Pat Spillane. Early indications from the show’s producer are that it got more than 200,000 of a viewing audience and right now I’d be willing to wager that more than half of them don’t know I won eight All-Ireland medals – or an All-Ireland medal at all. They just knew me as the cranky one from the pages of the Sunday World and from the telly and hoped I might say or do something controversial again.

As I said in the programme, this is the first time I’ve ever done anything like this in over 30 years of media work. I’ve always shied away from several offers of similar stuff in the past.

But the reason I did the show with Lucy now was to showcase my home place, the beauty of my little village of Templenoe, the nearest big town of Kenmare and the whole of South Kerry in general, to encourage people to come to our area, if not soon, then at least to pencil in a visit for next summer.

Now that’s one outcome I’d like to see from last night’s show!

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