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What's The Story? Was Bill Clinton Meeting Noel Gallagher? Definitely Maybe . . .

Rumours of a surprise celebrity guest had showbiz correspondents scrambling ahead of Bill Clinton's keynote address in Londonderry last week.

The flurry came after one resourceful journalist who obtained a list of the great and good invited to hear the former president's speech spotted a familiar name - Noel Gallagher.

Was the ex-Oasis songwriter really en route to the University of Ulster to hear the 64-year-old statesman's musings on the troubled Northern Ireland economy?

The ripple of intrigue created within the press corps turned into a wave when it emerged the aforementioned Mr Gallagher had yet to arrive.

"Oasis snubs Clinton," declared one experienced hack, imagining the next day's headlines.

Fearing the story was about to gain legs, a US Consulate staffer moved to dampen the speculation.

"I can categorically state that the Noel Gallagher invited here is not the Oasis Noel Gallagher," he interrupted.

"He's a local businessman."

If the Mancunian rocker had popped in there certainly wouldn't have been any lack of cameras to capture the moment.

As well as the usual suspects from the main broadcast networks, not one but two fly-on-the-wall documentary crews were also trailing the dignitaries.

A team from America's NBC is following Mr Clinton round the world for a film about his working life post-presidency, while local production company Below The Radar is shadowing Peter Robinson for a new TV programme about the First Minister.


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