Irish bookmaker Paddy Power has released the latest edition of its ‘Mean Tweets’ series ahead of the 2021 Cheltenham Festival.
The operator, which announced it would return for Cheltenham this year, invited horse racing broadcasters Matt Chapman, Mick Fitzgerald, Gina Bryce and Ruby Walsh to read out ‘mean tweets’ posted about the quartet.
Paddy Power, which is widely regarded for its PR stunts, has made the ‘mean tweets’ series an annual tradition ahead of the race meeting.
In the run up to the highly-anticipated Festival, which gets underway today and runs until 19 March, the group recited quotes from fans and racegoers which dubbed the panel of pundits all manner of nicknames, from ‘clowns’ to ‘buffoons’, and some slightly harsher expletives.
Freelance broadcaster Bryce read back one social media post from a fan who posted out, ‘Gina Bryce – I just don’t like you and I have no idea why this is’, to which Bryce thanked the tweeter for his honesty and laughed off her own broadcasting blunders brought up in social media posts.
The ‘grumpy’ Walsh took his criticism well, conceding he’d been ‘called worse’, whilst Fitzgerald enjoyed tweets sent in mocking the retired National Hunt jockey’s dulcet Irish tones and distinct favouritism towards Nicky Henderson’s horses.
In a tweet targeted at the 2010 HWPA Broadcaster of the Year, another racing enthusiast took to social media to say: ‘Matt Chapman is easily the most annoying chap involved in television racing.’ Chapman responded with, ‘Well, at least I’m involved’, admitting it was ‘hard to argue’ with the sentiment.
Another questioned, ‘Does anyone actually like Matt Chapman?’ leaving Chapman to glance around the empty room and bellow, ‘Anyone?’
Due to age restrictions, the video is only viewable on Paddy Power’s YouTube upon age verification.