Sleb Safari: Matthew McConaughey as Jack Dawson in Titanic? Alright, alright, alright

Look at this face. Is it the face of a Jack Dawson? Matthew McConaughey thinks so

HANDS down the funniest thing Sleb Safari has read in the past seven days is that scientists now believe T-Rex was more agile than its body shape would suggest and could, in fact, pivot like a “figure skater from hell”.

Watch out Gemma Collins, Dancing On Ice is about to meet Jurassic Park. How different would that movie franchise have been if it had been set in the Antarctic rather than Central America?

All this chat of showbiz switcheroos got Sleb Safari thinking, how would other iconic films or TV shows have fared with a tweak to the lead character? So, like any good (never-to-be) Pulitzer prize winning investigative journalist Sleb Safari turned to Google for the answers.

Lo and behold an entire generation could have had a whole other set of cultural references.

Take Matthew McConaughey for instance. He auditioned for the part of Jack Dawson in Titanic and thought he had it in the bag, telling The Hollywood Reporter: “I auditioned with Kate Winslet, had a good audition, walked away from there pretty confident that I had it.

“I didn’t get it. I never got offered that. And as I’ve said before not even half jokingly if it’s true, if that was an offer and it didn’t come to me, I’ve got to go back and go, ‘I’ve got to meet in an alley with that agent’.”

Can you imagine how different Titanic would have been if Matthew had been Alright alright alright-ing his way around the ship? Jack with a southern drawl would have been a hoot. There’s no way Rose would have let Matthew perish in the icy water, she’d have budged up and made room for him on that piece of wood.

Did you know Big from Sex and the City was originally going to be played by Alec Baldwin? Show creator Darren Star wanted the feisty actor as Carrie’s squeeze but changed his mind when he met Chris Noth.

And Friends? Any change to the show’s line-up is unimaginable now, 20+ years on, but there were any number of permutations under consideration at the time.

Vince Vaughn auditioned for Joey; Eric McCormick of Will & Grace fame read for Ross’s part and Jon Cryer from the deplorable Two and a Half Men auditioned for Chandler but his video tape (yes, it was that long ago) didn’t make it to the studio in time. Could we BE any more grateful?

And while Ellen DeGeneres auditioned for Phoebe the most unexpected twist of all was Courteney Cox being offered the part of Rachel. Monica as Rachel. Madness.

In Hollywood a mercy was offered when Rachel McAdams was chosen over Jessica Biel to star as Allie to Ryan Reynolds’s Noah in The Notebook but we were truly blessed when Tom Hanks turned down Patrick Swayze’s part in Ghost; sparing us the sight of Forrest Gump nuzzling Demi Moore’s neck at the potter’s wheel.

And for that are thankful. Amen.


High five to the W1A team

This week's hat tip goes to W1A actors Hugh Bonneville and Jason Watkins who answered a genuine question from comic Jenny Eclair as their characters from the satirical BBC show.

Jenny Eclair asked on Twitter:

What is BBC Sound please and how does it differ from BBC radio?

Hugh Bonneville answered:

It’s a good question, Jenny, and we’re glad you’ve asked it. Part of our More of Less initiative, BBC Sounds is a condensation of BBC Radio and BBC Noise, which in 2020 will be repurposed as BBC Echo – a great big empty hall, probably in Kidderminster.

#W1A @jason_watkins

And then Jason Watkins replied:

“If I can just pipe myself onboard and join the soundscape here; Not wanting to bang drums – or bang anything else either, but I championed BBC NoiseYou Guys will know better than I do how things will turn out but we have great hopes for BBC Din”

Bravo gentlemen, bravo.


Competition - Win tickets to Faces of Change: Votes for Women Exhibition at Mount Stewart

Sleb Safari has two pairs of tickets to give away to the Faces of Change: Votes for Women exhibition at Mount Stewart. The winners will also have the opportunity to enjoy lunch at the National Trust property.

The exhibition is a partnership between the National Portrait Gallery and the National Trust and presents the campaign for women’s suffrage from the late 19th century until the first decades of the 20th century. It also commemorates the February 1918 passing of the Representation of the People Act which gave some women in Ireland and Britain the right to vote in general elections.

Works on display are on loan from London's Imperial War Museum, the Ulster Museum, the National Trust and the National Portrait Gallery and among the portraits is that of

Edith, Lady Londonderry, founder of the Women’s Legion.

The exhibition opened last Friday and runs Thursday to Sunday until February 3 2019.

To be in with a chance to win tickets and lunch answer the following question correctly: Who was the first woman elected to Westminster?

Email your answer to

The closing date is noon on Wednesday November 14. Usual Irish News rules apply. Please mark your entry ‘Sleb Safari/National Trust’ and include your name, address and phone number.

For more information visit:


Social Media Smut


Spotted on a New York street. Some might say that Walter White lives on!

A post shared by Bryan Cranston (@bryancranston) on

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