He may not be mistaken for George Clooney on the street, but local man David Glendon will forever be associated with the Hollywood heartthrob – and there’s even an Internet Movie Database link to prove it.
In fact, there are now over 1,200 internet links to prove it, from Gawker.com to the Huffington Post, British tabloids, blogs, radio stations and more.
It all started back in mid-January when David entered local filmmaker Gabriel Murray’s George Clooney look-alike contest in honour of a film Mr Murray is making about the Hollywood actor’s ancestral roots in Kilkenny.
The story goes that several hundred entrants had put their names forward because of a promise of a ticket to the Academy Awards for the winner, and then David got the phone call to say that he had been chosen as the winner, in part due to his local acting involvement.
For the next three weeks, the article remained tagged as one of the most popular stories on the Kilkenny People website, and on Thursday night it went viral.
Picked up by The Sun newspaper and then Gawker.com, Broadsheet.ie and others, the word quickly spread on Twitter and beyond. The Kilkenny People website had 10,000 hits on Thursday and a further 32,000 hits between Friday and Monday morning as internet users around the world read and shared the news about the competition.
And while there were plenty of jokes made about which of the three men pictured in the original photo was, in fact, the one who resembled George Clooney, and whether maybe Stevie Wonder had been the judge, as the saying goes: “There’s no such thing as bad publicity.”
Throughout the short saga, there has been no one more surprised by the whole thing than David himself.
“It had died down after the story in the Kilkenny People and in the Irish Independent. But then The Sun spotted it in the Kilkenny People and decided to do a story on it – and it went global from there,” he said. “My phone was hopping all weekend.”
“I have gone from being a local amateur actor to being known as not looking like George Clooney,” he said.
As for what exactly to do with his 15 minutes of fame, David says he hasn’t decided.
He still can’t even believe he won the contest in the first place.
“I am actually very surprised – because I don’t look anything like the chap at all,” he laughs.