Celebrities take over best man's speech

Celebrities take over best man's speech

Best man's speeches are often an excuse to rib the groom by telling embarrassing stories from the past, but Co Down man Stephen Henning let some famous faces take over.

Eamonn Holmes, actor Chris O'Dowd, golf's Graeme McDowell, comedian John Bishop and even sports presenter Clare Balding passed on their best wishes to Michael and Victoria Henning during their wedding reception at Galgorm on Friday.

And while many of the greetings were sweet - rugby player Stephen Ferris sent best wishes on behalf of all of the Ulster boys, and G Mac hoped the pair would have a "long and successful marriage [...] a long and happy life together" - others were a little more edgy.

Neighbours actor Alan Fletcher (better known as Dr Karl Kennedy) said while marriage is a "brilliant thing to do" he recalled Dr Karl's fling with a co-worker, adding: "Michael, a word of advice - stay away from your receptionist!"

TV and radio presenter Colin Murray joked that Michael's first girlfriend had been a Barbie doll, while Bridesmaids actor Chris O'Dowd felt hurt that Victoria had turned him down, after "the most amazing weekend of our lives".

But it seems the bride had been a little too keen on athlete Iwan Thomas.

Stephen came up with the idea in January this year, when he began contacting celebrities via Twitter, asking them to follow him so he could message the stars with his request without Michael finding out.

I went after as many people as I could and I did try and go after the ones that they watched on TV or supported from a young age, for example the Ulster rugby players.

Stephen Henning

"I passed it off as a social media test for work, and luckily my family fell for it hook, line, and sinker," he said.

The groom said he had no idea the last six months his brother had been scheming to put together this best man's speech with a difference.

Michael told UTV: "It was unexpected... I knew he was up to something, but I had no idea that it was for the wedding.

"He was trying to get lots of follows to ask questions for about six months now, but I had no idea that this was the story behind it."

Stephen said it took a lot of persistence and chasing celebrities to get the video, but said it all paid off when he saw the completed video.

The best man added: "There were quite a few celebrities who said they would send me a video but then two or three months would pass before I would receive it. I was messaging them three to four times a week to get them to send it across."

The boys' father knew what the best man had planned and filmed the reaction of the stunned wedding party and guests.

"I haven't seen anything like it and I don't think it can be topped," said Michael.

The wedding day is over, but it has left Michael with tough boots to fill, and wondering what he will do if he ever is best man for Stephen, who says the challenge has now been set.

Michael added: "I have no idea how I could top that. I'd have to get an A-lister probably or have to pay a singer or somebody!"


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