Saturday 20 January 2018

O'Herlihys give Apres Match Billo the okey doke to keep character going

Social satire: Apres Match of the Day made a welcome return
Social satire: Apres Match of the Day made a welcome return
Bill O'Herlihy

The late Bill O'Herlihy's family have given their blessing to the Apres Match crew to continue their parody of him with their much-loved Billo character.

The broadcasting stalwart, who died last May at the age of 76, has been a mainstay in the repertoire of comedians Risteard Cooper, Gary Cooke and Barry Murphy.

The trio approached relatives of Bill prior to recording their latest Apres Match of the Day series.

The show features some segments from Italia '90, in which the RTE man rose to huge public prominence.

"After the new series was agreed on, the lads got on to the O'Herlihy family to ask could they continue the Bill character," said a show insider.

"They were very fond of Bill and had a great relationship with him, but they were also very mindful of the family and didn't want to appear disrespectful.

"The family were more than happy for it to continue and really appreciated being contacted and asked before any recording went ahead."

Bill O'Herlihy

Bill O'Herlihy

The team were said to be delighted with being given the green light because Bill - played by Cooper - was such a major part of the show's popularity and he played such a major part in Irish sporting life.

Apres Match of the Day sees the comedy trio bring back to life the matches and analysis that defined three decades of glory.

Bill, Eamon Dunphy and Liam Brady are given a youthful makeover to recreate them as they would have looked back in the day, alongside iconic figures including Jack Charlton, Joe Kinnear, Don Givens, and the BBC's Jimmy Hill.

The first programme in the series featured the Republic of Ireland's dramatic win against Romania in Italia '90.

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