A couple from Waterford who have been married for almost 60 years made history on the Late Late Show as they renewed their marriage vows live on air.
ohn and Vera Hogan were declared ‘Ireland’s Most Loved-Up Couple’ on a special Valentine’s edition of the chat show and went on stage to renew their vows, with host Ryan Tubridy officiating.
Unbeknownst to them their seven adult children and 11 grandchildren – who had been kept under wraps back stage – then joined them onstage.
Mr Hogan, a retired Coillte worker, said to his wife – his former boss before they married in 1964 – “I love you Vera and thanks so much for putting up with me for the last 60 years.”
His wife replied: “Thank you very much for all your love and kindness and support over the past 57 years. You are truly the wind beneath my wings.”
The couple were then given a free trip to a destination of their choice in the US to celebrate their second ‘honeymoon by Tubridy, who said :’You’re like a beacon of love.”
The touching ceremony came at the end of what was billed as “the most raucous and passionate night on TV” as Tubridy played Cupid .
The Valentine’s Special show kicked off with Tubridy lip-syncing Frank Sinatra’s ‘I Love You Baby’ with the 200-strong mostly 20-something singles studio audience waving their arms ecstatically as they scoped out fellow audience members as possible future dates.
It then morphed into an odd speed-dating Dating Game/Big Brother hybrid in which single IT worker Aoife Downs (30) from Drogheda, Co Louth was plucked from the studio audience.
She would be paired with one of seven eligible bachelors who were eliminated from the competition almost as soon as they took to the stage, with salty double-entendres courtesy of comedian Justine Stafford.
In the end, she chose Liam, a Co Westmeath retail worker who gallantly presented her with a bouquet of roses he plucked from a studio vase before doing a spontaneous Irish dancing jig to demonstrate his party piece skills.
“I’m going to go with a strong Westmeath man,” said Aoife, who earlier declared “I’m looking for a real man; tall, dark and plays GAA.”
Meanwhile, former Love Island contestant Maura Higgins, who declared she “couldn’t be more single” offered her first date advice.
She heard the story of a young woman in the audience who told of her disappointing first date with a man who took her to a McDonald’s Drive-Thru as a dinner date, only for his card paying for their Chicken McNugget meals to be declined.
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Another woman spoke of the ‘ick’ factor when an aspiring date had bad breath and rotten teeth.
“The girl has gone to all the effort,” Maura said of women preening, donning their high heels and glad rags and dousing themselves with fake tan ahead of the big day.
“Sort yourself out and make an effort,” she told aspiring daters. “And brush your teeth.”
Among the celebrities taking to the stage was Mullingar comedian Alison Spittle who joined Kerry Katona to discuss their unlikely friendship as well dating advice and dating misfires on their BBC podcast ‘Wheel of Misfortune’.
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