SHOWMAN Rodd Hogg CORRECTLY predicted last week’s front page headline in The Coleraine Times - and then admitted: “That’s the scariest thing I’ve ever done in my entire life.”
The envelope - bearing a slip of paper with the headline ‘Ramada shock’, our splash about the Portrush hotel going into administration - was opened to stunned staff and presenters at Q97FM studios in Ballymena last Wednesday morning.
And for good measure Rodd - who is being touted as ‘The Irish Dynamo’ - was also spot on about a story which appeared on our page 7 about a local talk called ‘My Name Is Katie.’
A month ago Rodd handed in the envelope, marked PREDICTION, to our newsroom at Stone Row, claiming he would predict our headline story four weeks from that date.
Times Editor David Rankin accepted the challenge and the envelope was embossed, sealed and locked in a vault at First Trust Bank in Coleraine.
After Rodd’s prediction was revealed, David said: “I completely stunned as to how he did it. That headline changed a few times before we went to press as the story progressed, so you really couldn’t have guessed it.
“This is the first time that a prediction of this sort has appeared in any local newspaper in Northern Ireland - so it’s not only Rodd who’s relieved that he got it right!
“He really is an irrepressible showman with great charisma. Our newspaper has followed his fledgling career since the start and we have no doubt that he’s going to be a big star.”
The envelope also contained five other predictions - two card tricks and a number calculation with the radio station staff and more ominously Rodd’s prophesy of a populist coup in Iran early next year, a potential nuclear bomb and a bloody military conflict.
His final tongue-in-cheek prediction simply read: “I predict this is the scariest thing I have ever done in my entire life.”
The local magic man will now turn his attention to escaping from a set of handcuffs underwater at Carrickfergus Harbour on Saturday, June 22 - the first time the highly dangerous Houdini-style spectacle has been attempted in the Province.