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Former Premier League referee Dermot Gallagher (Phil Noble/PA)

Former Premier League referee Dermot Gallagher (Phil Noble/PA)

Former Premier League referee Dermot Gallagher (Phil Noble/PA)

Former Premier League referee Dermot Gallagher has never tried to hide his Irish connections, but his changing accent has caused something of a stir.

Gallagher is a regular on Sky Sports News in the UK as he reviews the contentious refereeing decisions each weekend, with his English accent a familiar addition to the channel's coverage.

A proud Irishman who has regularly travelled over to watch the national team in action at the Aviva Stadium and attended major tournaments with Ireland fans, Gallagher has a broad Dublin accent when speaking off camera.

So when he appeared on Newstalk for an interview with Joe Molloy, he revealed that his Sky persona is a performance put on for the cameras.

When asked why his accent was different compared to what we see on Sky he replied: "It’s because I’m talking to Irish people.

"My best mate gives me no end of stick. I have to crank it down with English people.

"It’s quite ironic, when my dad was alive, one of my friends said to me, 'why do you talk Irish to your dad and talk English to us?'

"When I first started on Sky TV they were very, very conscious of certain words I couldn't pronounce and I had to watch the BBC news," he said.

"Words with 'th' I'd find very, very difficult so I'd have to practice. I'd be dreading them saying was it a 'Thursday' match and they were trying to explain to me there was an 'h' in the Thursday and it wasn't T-U-R-S.'"

Those of us who have interviewed Gallagher in the past were aware of this strange image change when he speaks to the Irish media, but it has been the subject of intense interest on social media in the UK after his 'outing' on Newstalk.

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