In a tongue-in-cheek radio advertisement to be aired later today, sound-clips of the divisive Dubliners will be broadcast with a voiceover asking tourists to forgive Ireland for their “haircuts, those PVC suits and the talking bit in Whoops, I Did It Again”.
The long-awaited apology is part of a new Tourism Ireland campaign aiming to attract British visitors to this country over the coming months.
While Jedward do not appear in the advertisement – which will air on London stations Capital Radio, Magic 105.4, and Heart 106.2 until The X Factor final results tomorrow – they have agreed to be used as the butt of the joke in the broadcast. “We in Tourism Ireland would like to apologise for the haircuts, those PVC suits and the talking bit in Whoops, I Did It Again,” the advertisement will explain.
The voiceover continues that “great deals” are now being offered on discoverireland.com to make up for the assault on music.
The light-hearted campaign comes after the influx of tourists from Britain to Ireland dropped significantly in recent months, causing further difficulties for the Irish economy.
While 4.65 million people travelled across the Irish sea in 2008, projected total figures for 2009 indicate that 3.93 million British tourists will arrive this year – a drop of 15%.
As a result, Tourism Ireland’s head of tourism in Britain, Lawrence Bate, said it was vital the body capitalised on the publicity the X Factor rejects have gained.
“Jedward certainly captured the public imagination here in Britain over the past few months and it makes sense for Tourism Ireland to involve them in our new drive to attract British visitors.
“We are very grateful to the duo and their management for lending their weight to the new campaign to restore the British market to growth. There are great fares to get here, great offers from the industry and great value menus to be found in our restaurants and eateries,” he said.
Their revival will be welcomed by their army of loyal supporters. Although admittedly, coming in the same week as the show’s final – which the duo so clearly wanted to be in – it is unlikely to be the appearance their fans were hoping for.