Late Late Show

Overnight superstar Stella McGirl awaits a call-up from Ear to the Ground!

Stella steals The Late Late show with a ‘nudge, nudge, wink wink’

Fiona Heavey


Fiona Heavey

Overnight superstar Stella McGirl awaits a call-up from Ear to the Ground!

Stella McGirl said she had a “savage weekend” after her popular appearance on The Late Late show last Friday, March 29.

Stella, daughter of Claire and former Leitrim county councillor Liam from Main St, Ballinamore, has become a mini celebrity, not only in her home town and county, but also nationwide.

After stealing the hearts of many on The Late Late Toy Show last December, Stella was invited back on the show last Friday night to mark the lambing season and of course Leitrim’s appearance in Croke Park - and she didn’t disappoint.

The small lady with a massive personality wore a Leitrim jersey and gave this paper a big shout out (and yes Stella, we have put you on the front page this week) just before Seamus O'Rourke hit the stage with his piece.

We were delighted to get talking to Stella on Monday, when she answered her house phone and chatted away about the weekend just gone!

Stella explained she got the invite only last Wednesday. “Mam made me eat my dinner before she told me - she knew I would be too excited to eat after hearing the news.”

On Thursday she visited a few local farms to do her research on sheep farming for the show. “They wanted me on to talk about lambing so I went to see the three Johns - John O’Hara, John O’Connell and John McGovern - to learn all about lambs.”

Stella was feeding a lamb with a bottle while talking to Ryan Tubridy and he asked her, “Is this something you'd be interested in doing growing up, like sheep farming?”

“Well, something like Ear to the Ground, something like that!” came the reply from Stella. When the host suggested the farming programme should have a section for young farmers like her, she quipped: “Aye! Nudge nudge, wink wink, say no more!”

Stella revealed that she has been “invited back on The Late Late next year - they told me to come up with a good idea, so I’m working on that!”

Stella said she was treated like a real celebrity: “They paid for a hotel and taxi and all.”

Of course Stella was in Croke Park on Saturday for the big game, and she said while Leitrim suffered a “bit of a loss on the field - we won it off the field, all the support was for Leitrim. I don’t know if there were three people from Derry!”

Like many, Saturday’s game was Stella’s first taste of Croke Park and while she enjoyed the experience she stated, “I wouldn’t go to see anyone but Leitrim playing.”

There have been no calls from Ear to the Ground yet to offer her a presenter's job, but Stella said the agricultural programme as well as the Farmers' Journal have shared her appearance on social media.

The 11-year-old who is currently in fifth class in St Patrick’s NS, Corlough said she wants to be a presenter or work in the media when she grows up. She has ruled out a life in politics.

Stella's mother Claire said the family are very proud of her and she is a great girl. Claire, who took the call from the Late Late inviting Stella back on said she was “surprised but delighted.”

She said it can be “nerve wracking” standing on the sidelines of the show. “It is live and we have no idea what they will ask,” she said.

But Stella is always ready with an answer!