Hansard and Irglová to appear in episode of 'Simpsons'


OSCAR WINNERS Glen Hansard and Markéta Irglová are to appear in an episode of The Simpsonswhich will mourn the decline of the Irish pub.

The pair have enjoyed worldwide success as The Swell Season, following their Oscar win last March with the song Falling Slowly from the low-budget film Once which was a surprise hit.

They join some of the biggest acts in music history - including U2, Paul McCartney, Metallica and Michael Jackson - in being depicted on the show, now entering its 22nd season.

According to executive producer Al Jean, the episode, to be broadcast next year, will feature Homer and his father Abe travelling to Ireland to buy a pub in which Abe claimed to have spent the best night of his life 40 years previously.

The pub is reputed to be located on Grafton Street, Dublin, and the pub landlord will be played by Belfast-born actor Kenneth Branagh.

However, their romantic notions of what an Irish pub should be like are dashed by the realisation they have been in decline since the introduction of the smoking ban in 2004.

"Homer and Grandpa get drunk. They buy the bar and then they find, as it turns out, in Ireland, pubs aren't so popular anymore because you can't smoke in them. So they're really up a creek."

Hansard and Irglová will play two local buskers performing on Grafton Street.

Irish characters have regularly featured in The Simpsons.

A whole episode was devoted to U2, but the most controversial was the episode set on St Patrick's Day which featured the "Drunken Irish Novelists of Springfield".

It ended up with a drunken mob blowing up John Bull's Fish and Chip Shop.