An RTÉ News interviewee has become an overnight icon thanks to a sensational – and totally deadpan – walrus impression.

Anthony Fitzgerald was talking to reporter Seán Mac an tSíthigh for the broadcaster after the tusked pinniped was found to have travelled all the way from the Arctic to Ireland.

Speaking from the shores of Valentia Island, Mr Fizgerald said sobrely and with the semi-closed mouth of a ventriloquist: “Suddenly I heard: ‘earghhhhh, euuuurrrghhh’”.

His convincing impression of the giant mammal instantly delighted viewers, with a clip of the segment posted on Twitter by CNN reporter Donie O’Sullivan’s garnering more than 4,000 likes overnight.

One Twitter user created a mashup of Bon Jovi’s ‘Living on a Prayer’ but replacing the “ohhhh” in the chorus with Mr Fitzgerald’s growl.

Another likened the sound to that made by Star Wars’s beloved furry hero Chewbacca.

Other users were just generally loving the whole two-minute broadcast, which featured a range of local residents offering their takes on the unexpected visitor.

One wrote: “This is the most Irish thing that has ever Irished. I’m completely in love. Oh dear Lord, please, please send us more of this RTE news about walruses. I just can’t. I cannot. I’m dying. I’m dead.

“This has: Old guy making walrus sounds. An adorable family with 3 ginger children, an exasperated mom who’s ‘in the doldrums from the Covid’ and her surly red-headed teen, and another old guy saying the walrus was here chasing a female. It seriously HAS. IT. ALL.”

Indeed, among the highlights of the video is a pensioner in a flat cap speculating mischievously: “Hard to understand how he came this far south – we think he must be chasing a female or something.”

And another man saying happily: “Oh he’s getting a fantastic reaction, especially in these times when there’s nothing else happening. He’s a celebrity here.

“Isn’t he the most famous visitor we’ve had since the tetrapod over 285 million years ago?”

More: Arctic walrus spotted on Irish coast by five-year-old girl

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