herald

Wednesday 30 July 2014

Defrocked priest dances for Cowell

Neil Horan previously disrupted Vanderlei de Lima of Brazil during a Olympic marathon (right).

The defrocked priest who ruined the Olympics for a marathon runner and jumped on to the track of a Grand Prix is to appear as a contestant on Britain's Got Talent -- because the producers did not know who he was.

Controversial former priest Neil Horan, who was excommunicated by his bishop in 2005, was allowed to audition because producers weren't aware of his colourful past, it has been revealed.

He auditioned in his traditional Irish dance in front of Simon Cowell and two other judges, as they were completely oblivious to his meddling antics at major sporting competitions.



Producers

A spokesperson for Talkback Thames, producers of the show says "The production team became aware of Neil's past after his audition."

"He auditioned in London, and he did get through at that stage."

She added: "I was there at his auditions and there weren't any problems."

The spokesperson says Horan didn't make any personal or religious points at the audition in London, and he just came on as a regular auditionee.

"He just danced. That's all he did," the spokesperson added. "I don't know if he will be shown on screen because there are so many people auditioning."

While Horan hopes to make a career out of his dancing, sources have told the Herald that he will not be appearing in any of the live shows of Britain's Got Talent.

Horan became notorious when he dashed on to the track at the British Grand Prix at Silverstone, waving a banner bearing the words "Read the Bible".

He was later jailed for six weeks after he disrupted the 2004 Olympic marathon in Atlanta when he leaped on Brazilian runner Vanderlei de Lima and cost him the gold medal.

Judges Simon Cowell, Amanda Holden and Piers Morgan saw the priest do his Irish jig in his trademark kilt and Irish costume, and is offering his services to people who wish to see him perform at private functions.



Wonderful

Speaking after his performance, Horan revealed: "The audience reception was wonderful. It was wonderful to perform my dance of peace before a theatre audience and in front of Simon Cowell, Amanda Holden and Piers Morgan."

He continued: "I have danced before audiences all around the world but the response would have been greater than all of them put together."

"I am willing to do my dance at any party. The only obstacle would be if the distance is too far."

ggittens@herald.ie

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