Nirvana covered Bowie’s “The Man That Who the World”. Chiwetel Ejiofor stars in “The Man Who Fell to Earth”. And on an icy January 8th in 2010, Irish television lore gained one of the greatest mysteries; The Man Who Slipped On The Ice. It’s been 14 years now, yet we still know very little about this mystery.
There are two clips on YouTube, one introduced by Anne Doyle and one introduced by Bryan Dobson, before handing it over to John Kilraine. “Dublin pavements remain very dangerous…” and the rest is history.
The piece would talk about how councils were struggling to keep up with a cold snap, but no one was paying attention. Every last one of us was bent over laughing at this clip, wondering how RTÉ let it get to air. It’s just the highest level of comic timing on a serious new bulletin.
Despite this, or perhaps because of it, the identity of the man remains a complete mystery.
The moment never seems to lose its hilarity and we never tire of talking about it. When the 2010 series of Reeling in the Years kicked off, it included the above clip. In 2020 Coors cashed in by mounting a plaque to commemorate the moment, but again – the identity of the man was not known.
Where Did the Man Slip on Ice
Realising he looks a bit like the guy in the video, Kevin McGahern plays out a hypothetical clumsy man who slipped on the ice. This character is named Brendan Adhere, but alas he’s fictional.
Still worth a watch as you get a great view of where it actually happened on Church Street near the Four Courts.
Was the Guy Slipping on Ice Faked?
The camera positioning was perfect. The fall was delivered with stuntman-like precision. Combined with the fact RTÉ actually used this clip, leaves a massive question. Was the whole thing faked? Did RTÉ stage this for relevance in the YouTube era? Did they know it would deliver iconic comedy when Reeling in the Years came about. I’m not convinced by the conspiracy theorists, namely because Ireland’s best comedy seems to go abroad because RTÉ drops the ball!
in 2022, a similar event took place at Dublin Airport. This one looked a lot more likely to be faked, and considering the likelihood of the orginal fall being a stuntman is low, I doubt the average joe would have sold that fall so well. While some ask why he would have signed of for his image to be used, realistically permission wasn’t needed. Why?
Well, we’re here, 14 years on and we still don’t know who he is. He can’t be identified.
Will we ever learn the identity of the man? I honestly doubt it at this stage. I doubt anyone would want to lay claim to such a title. After one quick visit to the Late Late Show couch, it’s to the dungeons of C-list viral celebrity. Not something that’s very appealing these days.