FORGET Jedward. The latest craze to sweep the country is Breffmania.
The man behind the new media phenomenon, Apprentice star Breffny Morgan, certainly has the X factor with a growing legion of fans across Ireland.
The 23-year-old from Douglas in Cork has already attracted more than 24,000 “friends” to his “Breff-mania” page on Facebook, while he is also being mobbed by adoring female fans whenever he’s seen in public.
As further proof of his rising star, he’s even had his own personal entry in Wikipedia, although it was recently removed from the online encyclopaedia.
The tall, sport-mad Corkman has captivated the nation through his bumbling attempts in the hit TV3 series The Apprentice, despite branding himself as a “battle-hardened dynamo”.
Although he had escaped the boardroom chop on a number of occasions after a couple of inept performances, Breffny’s luck finally ran out in this week’s show when he was fired by Bill Cullen.
However, the keen rower also showed he still has considerable business acumen by promoting his efforts to get a job at every available opportunity.
Breffny revealed yesterday that an email address he set up to assist him in finding a job – email@example.com – had received more than 200 messages within 24 hours of him announcing it on air during his appearance on The Apprentice – You’re Fired on Monday night. While most replies probably came from supporters rather than potential employers, it’s further evidence of the growing popularity of the genial Harvard graduate.
Despite holding a degree in biology from the prestigious Boston university, Breffny admits he’s open to all offers, especially in the area of project management.
“I’d really like a full-time job... if the price is right,” laughed Breffny, who said he would not rule out a job in media given how previous stars of reality TV shows had gone on to careers in radio and TV.
“My strength is entertaining people after all,” he added.
The failed apprentice also said he wouldn’t hesitate to interrupt his current studies for a master’s degree at the UCD Smurfit Business School to gain full-time employment.
However, Breffny admitted he was unlikely to pursue a job in sales given his somewhat embarrassing efforts at flogging everything from ice-cream to nasal strips.
But it didn’t stop him from turning out in Croke Park yesterday to help launch some new hurling helmets and protective gloves manufactured by Mycro Sportsgear – a Ballincollig-based company owned by his uncle, Victor Morgan.
And he’s also lined up a potential career as a DJ in his hometown when he’ll be manning the decks at Club Classic on Cork’s South Main Street this Saturday.
Brought up in a single-parent household, Breffny was delighted that his mother flew back to Ireland this week, from her base in Russia where she works as a teacher, to toast his success.
“Ironically, she’s called Geraldine,” smiled Breffny, noting that his mother’s name is the same as The Apprentice contestant, Geraldine O’Callaghan, with whom he has been romantically linked because of their on-screen chemistry. However, Breffny insisted the pair were “just good friends”.
Describing himself as “an eligible bachelor”, Breffny is enjoying his newfound status as a sex symbol.
“I’m absolutely loving it even though the job didn’t work out with Bill,” he said, adding he would like to see red-haired contestant Stephen Higgins nail down the €100,000-a-year job as Cullen’s Apprentice – although one suspects the likeable Corkman is the real winner of this year’s show.
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