HIS listenership is up but yesterday Ray D’Arcy’s audience got the chop — or some of them, at least.
In a record-breaking scalping, hordes of people queued up outside the Style Club salon in central Dublin to have their locks chopped in aid of the Irish Cancer Society’s Shave or Dye promotion on Today FM.
Not everyone went for a number one all over — breakfast show host Ian Dempsey, for one, was sporting a ginger highlights effort, Matt Cooper went purple, Ray Foley and JP Gilbourne went green and blue respectively, while Ray D’Arcy had a chest wax — but for the most part South William St was host to the highest number of shaved heads seen since the early scenes in Full Metal Jacket.
For some people a haircut was probably badly needed, but the best news was the total raised for the cancer charity — approximately €306,000 as of midday yesterday — with more likely to follow.
At the same stage of proceedings last year around €250,000 had been raised, going to show that the recession has not killed off the idea of dedicating cash to good causes.
Among those who went under the blade yesterday was Joe Nolan, one of eight men from Limerick who all went for a number one cut.
“It’s normally longer, but not too long,” is how he described his old hairstyle, before adding that he had checked with his girlfriend whether he would be allowed home with an army grunt look.
Some of his mates laughed off the suggestion of checking with the other half, however, with one Limerick man quipping: “I might have made a passing remark.”
Sporting not just a shaved head but also a Hannibal Lector mask for good measure was Adrian Sweeney from Batterstown in Co Meath.
Asked how his hair used to look, he promptly pulled his ponytail from his pocket.
“My sister is quite unwell at the moment so I’m doing it for her,” he said.
He was off to celebrate his new look, and his achievement of raising €2,000, with a pint.
Back on air Ray D’Arcy announced a record had been set, with 350 people having their heads shaved in an hour by no more than 10 barbers, beating the old record by 86.
Guinness World Records adjudicator Patricia Magill was on hand to grant the seal of approval to the new record, and to help begin the celebrations once the Ray D’Arcy Show had gone off air.
Meanwhile, somewhere in the distance, comb salesmen wept silent tears....
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