FORMER Premier League referee Dermot Gallagher has stunned many a football fan by revealing a 'hidden' Irish accent.
Gallagher, who spent 15 years refereeing in the Premier League before stepping away in 2007, worked for Sky Sports for a number of years as a pundit once he'd hung his whistle up.
But fans who had grown used to his rather gruff English accent were shocked to discover this week that it was all a lie.
During an appearance on the Off The Ball podcast, the 63-year-old exhibited a thick, Dublin accent, prompting the show's presenter - an Irish fella - to say: "I didn't realise the Irish accent had survived this much."
Gallagher responded: "Well it's because I'm talking to Irish people.
— Off The Ball (@offtheball) February 10, 2021
"My best mate gives me no end of stick. I have to crank it down with English people.
"It's quite ironic, when my dad was alive, one of my friends said to me, 'why do you talk Irish to your dad and talk English to us?'
"And I said I don't', I was thinking about Gaelic you see and they went 'no...your accent changes' and I said 'well you wouldn't understand me'. And they don't."
The Dubliner later revealed that when he joined Sky Sports, they asked him to work on a more 'TV-friendly' accent so that the predominantly British audience would be able to understand him.
"When I first started on Sky TV, they were very, very conscious of certain words I couldn't pronounce.
"I had to watch BBC News to try and [work on it]. Words with 'th' in them I found very difficult, so I'd have to practice."
For anyone out of the loop, here's what Dermot sounded like for years while working for Sky:
— Sky Sports News (@SkySportsNews) October 7, 2019