When a film crew called up and asked if they could shoot some footage on his farmland, Northern Ireland farmer Alan Graham—who also happens to be a local councilor and therefore a pillar of the local community—didn’t make too many inquiries.
“The arrangements were made in a rather informal, ad hoc way,” he said today, “By way of explanation, I’m a bit illiterate in the pop world. I didn't know who was coming. If the name 'Rihanna' had been mentioned, well, no disrespect but it wouldn't have meant anything,’ he said.
So when a white RV pulled up on the road adjoining his field in the village of Ballyrobert near Bangor, County Down, and out popped the world’s hottest pop starlet du jour, Graham thought nothing of it and carried on plowing his field.
His interest was aroused when passersby started stopping their cars, producing camera phones, and filming the event for posterity, but, still, Graham kept right on plowing.
In fact the shoot was for the new video “We Found Love” for the Barbadian pop star—who is performing in Belfast and Dublin this week—and it slowly began to dawn on Graham that the provocative chanteuse had no intention of remaining underneath her umbrella—or anything else for that matter.
“Perhaps the location manager wasn’t totally aware of my expectations,” said a shocked and awed Graham today, speaking rather quietly on Morning Ireland, the usually deathly-serious Irish news show. “At first they were filming in a location by the road, and that was OK, but when they moved to another field I felt the filming became inappropriate and I requested it end.”
“Basically, that’s right,” Graham replied. “I had my conversation with Rihanna and she was most gracious, hopefully she understands where I am coming from. We shook hands and we parted on good-enough terms.”
The interviewer pressed Graham on what had been said between the two—but the canny local politician was not falling for that old trick. “That conversation is between me and her and her friends. I am not going to relate that to everyone,” he said. “We parted on good-enough terms.”
“From my point of view, it was my land, I have an ethos, and I felt it was inappropriate. I wish no ill will against Rihanna and her friends. But perhaps they could acquaint themselves with a greater God,” he concluded.
As yet there is no word from Rihanna’s camp as to where they’ll be doing the reshoot. Saudi Arabia, perhaps?