‘CATCH HIM DERRY’... TADHG’S VIDEO A HIT WITH 10S OF MILLIONS OF VIEWERS AS ‘BAT DAD’ DANCES WITH JOY
TADHG Fleming wasn’t even going to upload his viral hit “Bat Dad” to Facebook and YouTube, but he’s certainly delighted that his friends convinced him that it needed a bigger audience – because a bigger audience is what it got.
The 27-year-old B-Mobile employee from Ballymacelligott said he was finally “recovering from my five seconds of fame”, after a revealing two-minute video documenting his family’s efforts to chase a bad from their kitchen clocked up over 50 million views across social media in just seven days.
“I recorded the video on Monday night after a bat managed to get into the kitchen, and I’m certainly glad that I documented the whole thing now!” he laughed. “I uploaded it to Snapchat as a 24-hour story, and my phone started hopping with messages from my friends saying they were in tears of laughter. They kept at me to upload it for the public. I gave in, and that was the start of a week like no other.”
Tadhg already had a name for uploading videos onto his @tadhgflemingvideos Facebook page and Tadhg Fleming YouTube account, but his previous uploads showcased rehearsed comedy sketches for the most part – whereas this couldn’t have been more off the cuff.
“Ah, sure it was a one in a million occurrence,” he said. “How often would a bat fly into anyone’s kitchen, let alone be chased by my father, who was wearing shorts and wielding a towel? Then the dog started peeing in the corner while my Mom was hiding behind the door. It was a pure freak!
“The video had been up a few hours and was getting an amazing amount of feedback, but it was when Ray D’Arcy called looking for me to come on the radio that the madness really took off.” MAIN PHOTO: INSET: And that was far from the end of it all. “I checked an e-mail last Wednesday claiming to be from Jimmy Kimmel’s team, and they were asking me to come on live. To be honest, even though I replied, I thought it was just one of my uncles having a laugh!
“But then they phoned me, and I realised it wasn’t a hoax. A few hours later, at 1am on Thursday morning, myself, Mom and Dad were on a video link appearing live on one of the biggest TV shows in the world.
“I suppose that put us at ease ahead of speaking from the Late Late Show audience on Friday – but that was pretty surreal too. I went from posting on Snapchat on Monday evening to appearing on chat shows and newspapers, and having t-shirts and songs made in honour of my video.
“It got so crazy that I actually missed another e-mail from RTÉ asking me to appear on Ray D’Arcy’s TV show. That’s not the kind of message you normally miss.”
A week on, however, and things are finally settling back into something like normality – but Tadhg has little but positive to say about his week in a million.
“The Jimmy Kimmel interview is still the top-trending video on YouTube, but things are finally settling down,” he said. Mom and Dad and my sisters Sadhbh and Mary Ann have dealt fine with it. Dad [Derry] has been inundated with people coming into the Credit Union in Tralee, laughing at the sight of him working away and asking for a photo.
“All the relatives are still ringing Mom [Maureen], but even though it’s quietening down, I’m still getting some lovely messages from all over the world. One person in America said it gave them the laugh they needed – and that sort of thing is nice to hear.”
Mum Maureen, Dad Derry ( Bat Dad ) and Tadhg with Basil Dog ( The weeing Dog ).
Mum Maureen, Tadhg and sisters Maryann and Sadhbh check out the online response.