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Posts Tagged ‘RTE’

Dragons’ Den, The Apprentice, Take Me Out, Come Dine With Me … we nicked ’em all, and now we’ve nicked Masterchef too. As of yesterday, RTE/Screentime Shinawil are taking applications for the first Irish series (come on, you Saturday Dishers), in which Nick Munier (Pichet, Hell’s Kitchen) and Dylan McGrath (The Commons, Peacock Alley, Mint) will take the places of John “that’s a beautiful plate of food” Torode, and Greg “give us a cuppa tea and I’d polish off the lot” Wallace.

Antonia Hart enjoying some television

Antonia Hart enjoying some television

Wouldn’t it be a great way to restore national pride, generate income and create jobs if some Irish production company were to come up with a really cracking show that every television station in the world was just tripping over its shoelaces to buy? I’ve been racking my brains but I’m not coming up with anything, and I keep stumbling against cod Irish themes (usually to do with wakes and talking shite – have I been reading too many short stories of the fifties?) but it definitely needs to be culturally neutral if it’s to fulfil its international sales potential. Also, every time I think I have a good idea, it turns out to be a vague but actual memory of a programme I’ve seen before. Surely tv companies never have this problem.

 

Could we train ordinary people to become circus performers and culminate with a national tour?

Bring up three children for ten years, each according to a different parenting manual, and allow a public vote on the most successful child/parent unit?

Encourage ordinary citizens to perform minor surgery, with a cash prize if the patient doesn’t notice?

Or what about over twelve weeks building a mini-dream-state, with a government, legal system, health and education services, and a little cultural context? If it seemed to work well, we could sell citizenship.

I know, they’re all just variations on a theme. Well, if you’ve any ideas pass ’em on. In the meantime, we all get on with generating and consuming food every day, so in many ways are just rehearsing for Masterchef. The beauty of that idea is that we are all potential contestants. Get your application in by 27th April. Do you love or loathe Masterchef, by the way?

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Patrick Holford’s appearance on the Late Late on Friday was televised to the nation as a gospel proclamation: come see my magic works and repent, oh ye of little scientific understanding. I presumed that this would be the part of the show where RTE trot out someone to allow the audience to snigger at their conspiracy theories or visions. Not so with Mr Holford, who was introduced as a world leading nutritionist.
Lets start with the title and work our way downward, Patrick Holford, or, to give him his proper title, ‘pill salesman’, has no qualifications. He has built a business on selling supplements to anyone that will buy them. He is not a medical practitioner, scientist, researcher or expert for a number of reasons.

1: Qualifications from a recognized third level institution :0
Most people agree that qualifications from recognized institutions are a prerequisite to taking medical advice from somebody. The letters after your G.P.’s name denote years of study and examination, something Mr Holford has conveniently sidestepped.

2: His peer reviewed publications : 0
Part of being a scientist is putting your findings out there within the scientific community for peer review. This involves having every minute aspect of your findings interrogated, criticised and if necessary; rejected. It’s a soul destroying process, and why would anyone willingly submit to it? The reason scientists do this is to protect the public, to produce work based on the best evidence available and to advance understanding.

3: Nutritionist is not a protected title; in other words, anyone can call themselves a nutritionist. I can call myself one and recommend daily snickers and bottles of Lucozade to beat the winter blues. My next bestseller will be ‘The Barbarians Nutrition Bible’, brought to you by Creme Eggs.

4: His ‘honorary diploma’ was awarded to him by The Board of the Institute for Optimum Nutrition, which is an educational trust that HE founded in 1984. The same as if I opened ‘The Barbarian Center for Barbarian studies’  and awarded myself a PhD from it. That’s Doctor Barbarian to you.

Moving swiftly on, his first contention that women have less serotonin than men and thus are far more susceptible to depression. That’s quite a statement there Patrick, so let’s see what you left out?
What he fails to mention is that serotonin –which he refers to as the ‘happy’ chemical’  – is also serotonin the ‘aggression’ chemical. So yes, we have less of that particular chemical than our larger male counterparts, evolution has yet to catch up on the need for greater amounts of serotonin in males. But to claim that this is why women present with greater rates of depression ignores the under-diagnosis of male sufferers, it ignores the greater pressures and burdens on women in society and it ignores the social aspects of women’s as opposed to men’s lives. Outside of the fact that the serotonin hypothesis of depression is but a part of the neurochemical reasons for depression and correlation should not be read as causation. There are other chemicals at play in the depression etiology, but Patrick did not feel like talking about those.

Why would he say this? As stated earlier, Patrick Holford is a pill salesman, carefully targeting the audience at home, in particular the ladies. They might be sitting there on a Friday night patiently awaiting the next ‘cure’, ready to go out shopping for it on Saturday. By appealing to women with half truths he reached his market, EPIC WIN for Patrick, 100 points off the bat, uncontested by the host. At this stage I was having a full John McEnroe freak out, hollering ‘you cannot be serious maaaaaannnnn’ at the TV. Holford was allowed ride roughshod all over Ryan, his facts, cherry picked from obscure sources, citing trials but failing to mention participants, full findings or financial backing involved. For, as Mr. Holford loves to points out, there are forces at play in big pharma, forces that want to manipulate the facts to suit themselves, but that’s not the way science works. The slow but steady erosion of confidence in science continues unabated, with the portrayal of massive organisations working to keep you hooked, unhappy and dependent. As opposed to ‘Alternative Pharma’ with such constraints. No one mentions how the humble supplement is now a multimillion pound industry in its own right.

The problem with manufacturing medicine is all the damn procedures! Peer reviewed publications in general science are open to criticism and stringent testing and retesting before they can be marketed to the general public. If you want to manufacture a supplement it’s much simpler:  all you need is one small link between two things, causal or correlation-we don’t care. Bang them in a bottle, stick the ould ‘may help’ claim before any claims, and bob’s your uncle.

Minute effects based on the interaction of cells in petrie dishes are lauded as proof of the efficacy of drugs. None more disturbing than Mr. Holford’s marketing of Vitamin C as a cure for AIDS in Africa. Ah yes, Tubs, you forgot to ask him about that, forgot to mention that inconvenient fact.

For facts have very little to do with Mr. Holford’s business. For a man who claims to be interested in improving the lives of people, of making people happy, could you really ignore that this man was recommending that people avoid using tried and tested drugs for the treatment of AIDS?.

I leafed through one of the few remaining copies of Holford’s book in the local bookshop Saturday evening, with chapters about how medicine is out to get you and how his pills will cure you. While a small minority of people will achieve placebo effects from Holford’s claims, the majority will not. Yet more will be negatively biased towards medicinal treatments for depression. Don’t get me wrong, I’m just as favorable as the next person to proper help and supports as well as environmental and social interventions to aid depression recovery. I am not, however, about to throw the baby out with the bath water; your G.P. is not there to dispense items which they know don’t work.

I only wish that our esteemed Late Late show host could find time in his busy schedule to read the background check on his guests and ask hard questions. One can only hope that a scientist turns up with Tubs next week to redress the balance. Learning a little about science can save you a fortune, it can save you from false promises and it always strives to save lives. I heartily recommend Ben Goldacre’s Bad Science; it’s a tenner you won’t waste, as it will pay for itself 100 times over when you find yourself reaching for the next ‘magic diet pill’ or ‘collagen rich cream’.

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Guest Post by Miriam Cotton: Who is Merit, when she’s around?

The unexpected announcements by Olwyn Enright and Liz McManus of their intention not to seek re-election in 2011 have sparked national discussion about the under-representation of women in Irish politics. Their leaving is all the more significant given the recent, failed attempt to introduce a quota system to ensure more women candidates. Merit and merit alone, we are told, should be the sole deciding factor for selecting candidates for the Dáil. Of the 23 women TDs in the Dáil, 14 of them were opposed to quotas on the grounds, not that women elected by a quota system would actually be less capable but that they would be viewed as token women TDs. In the words of Maureen O’ Sullivan TD – quoted during a special report on the matter on last night’s Prime Time:

“they would ‘be crucified at every turn’ about their status in hostile, male-dominated parliamentary debate.”

This logic implies, ironically, that it is actually fear of how the men would behave rather than the merits of gender quotas per se that is determining what a majority of our women TDs are saying about the matter.

If that is really the prevailing attitude among male TDs toward gender quotas then it is hogwash, cant and hypocrisy. For a very long time, to be the owner of the wrong set of gender signifiers was an automatic bar to entry into politics – a state of affairs that did lasting injury to women and one moreover which manifestly has not yet been put right. Besides, are we seriously being asked to believe that the network of interlinking family dynasties of which the Dail and Seanad are substantially made up has anything to do with merit? Does the incompetence with which the country has been run into the ground over the last decade suggest that merit was ever even a consideration? Didn’t Bertie Ahern reassure the nation that he only appointed certain people to positions of power because they were his friends?

As Ivana Bacik said on Prime Time, there are all sorts of informal quotas in operation already that involve list systems of one kind or another – all of which continue to favour men. She also pointed to the two most impenetrable factors preventing women from entering politics: the culture of Irish politics and candidate selection. Miriam O’ Callaghan reported on last night’s programme that the National Women’s Council of Ireland have calculated that at the present rate at which women are entering the Dáil, it will take us 370 years to have equal representation. Meanwhile over 100 countries are using gender quotas in a serious effort to counter the prejudicial antipathy towards women in political culture and candidate selection.

A few years ago over lunch with a hospital consultant, he mentioned to a somewhat taken aback group of friends that measures were being taken to ‘do something’ about the higher numbers of women entering the medical profession. He complained about the effect on working life in hospitals of maternity leave in particular. Though this sort of rationale for it has been officially denied, the subsequent introduction of the HPAT test – a new IQ test which purports to be about identifying ability in ways other than by Leaving Certificate results (which young women were excelling in) – has indeed resulted in higher numbers of men entering the profession, though in many cases they will not have scored as many points as women in their Leaving Certificate exams. The euphemism for justifying this exercise has been that it is a necessary ‘re-balancing of the gender quota’.

While it has certainly attracted its fair share of criticism I don’t recall anything like the stubborn resistance to this measure among politicians – male or female – as has been evident when the subject of gender quotas for themselves comes up. It also says something about how far feminism has really succeeded in Ireland that no sooner than do women, on the basis of true merit alone, begin to surpass men in any influential walk of life than the general feeling is that something urgently needs to be done to call a halt to it. There are plans afoot to extend the requirement to sit this test into other professions as well.

As Brian Moore, Guidance Counsellor at Oatlands College, Stillorgan put it in an article in the Irish Times in 2009:

“Are we comfortable with a system that actively discriminates against females attaining medical places? Is the medical establishment supporting the change in the admissions system because it fears the feminisation of the medical profession will somehow reduce its status, and thus its financial rewards as it is reputed to have done in teaching and other professions? Are there those within the medical establishment who consider it a waste investing huge resources in training females as doctors if, after a number of years in practice, they decide to leave the active labour force or decide to work on a part-time basis to give time to care for their children? Where are the voices of those who would normally speak out in protection of equality of opportunity for women in the workplace?”

And riddle me this: if there is a concern to ensure a 50/50 gender balance in the medical profession, why is there no corresponding concern to ensure the same balance at the top of that or any other profession – still almost all massively biased towards men?

It seems we can proactively discriminate in favour of men but not women. But this is of course nothing new – only a new way of reviving and redefining the common-or-garden, old-fashioned chauvinism that continues to discriminate against women in any case – albeit generally less obviously so than before.

Media commentary in recent weeks has been depressing – at least for this feminist it has anyway. Of all that I have read and heard, John Drennan in The Independent takes the prize. I blush for him to quote from it here, since it would be best for John himself if it were just quietly forgotten but it surely goes to the heart of what Bacik means when she talks about the prevailing political culture. In an article ostensibly lamenting the loss of Olwyn Enright from politics he manages to say the following:

“THE day I first saw Olwyn Enright, she was draped seductively across what appeared to be a row of Toyota Corolla cars.”

and:

“When Olwyn entered the Dail, even the driest political hacks immediately knew how Thomas Hardy felt when Tess of the D’Urbervilles first entered his imagination.”

as well as:

Instead, in what was — to put it mildly — a bit of a shock, Charlie Flanagan lost his seat and breathless, naive, happy little Olwyn scooped the pot.”

and:

“It was understandable, for Enright allowed them to say, “Look we have women, they are young and pretty, Fine Gael is not the latterday equivalent of some dying Welsh coal-mining village.”

and:

“Some of us even suggested she might make a perfect leader, but we should not be criticised too harshly, since the only alternative was another pretty doe-eyed blonde.”

And where to begin with this:

“Sadly, in spite of this fine beginning, we tired of Olwyn remarkably quickly. She was, like any well-brought-up convent girl, hard-working, quiet and diligent. But the Dail is a cruel judge, and she did not distinguish herself sufficiently to retain our attention.

Too often the breathless schoolgirlish style of delivery spoke of someone who was feeling the effects of a steep learning curve. And there were other brighter comets, such as John Deasy, who were far more capable of attracting our interest.

You could not blame us for our lofty sighs about how it was simply not enough to be a lovely girl, for there was more than enough of old Tom in Olwyn to render her cautious.”


It’s an indictment of the state of our collective attitude that it is still possible for a journalist even to think of penning sexist bilge like this in the pages of a national newspaper. Yet Drennan moves comfortably about the political scene with little or no notice evidently being taken either by male or female TDs when he reinforces such an atrocious stereotype. The effect on young women thinking about a career in politics can only be damaging and discouraging – even if (as most will) they recognise this stuff for what it is.

In last Saturday’s Irish Times, Garrett Fitzgerald pondered the same imponderable: how to get more women into politics. Without a shred of self-consciousness he described how he stormed The Late Late Show studio one evening years ago during a programme dedicated to women. Twenty women had been invited along to discuss women in politics among other issues and they were not amused by his arrogant intrusion. He was infuriated by the effrontery of Mary Kenny who had dared to suggest that grassroots networking and seeking to influence change from the bottom up would be more effective than trying to break into the club to bring about change from within. Garrett, roused into action from his armchair at home, was single-handedly going to put the ladies straight on their mistaken notions. Never mind that Kenny has been proved completely right, Fitzgerald – despite the obvious failure of our political system to facilitate the entry of women into politics in equal numbers in the intervening years – still believes it is self-evident that trying to play the existing antipathetic political system is more likely to serve women better than any independent women-led initiative.

Mary Kenny was right in more ways than that too. Once in the door, women politicians drop the f-word from their vocabulary entirely, if they ever used it in the first place. Most are ashamed of it. There was a twitter moment in response to an interview with Lucinda Creighton on The John Murray Show this week when Creighton – who was there specifically to talk about being a woman in politics – felt it necessary to say that, while things could definitely be better for women, she was no ‘crazed feminist’ herself. Aaarrgh, Lucinda! Bad enough when men go reinforcing stereotypes but it is fatal when women do it to themselves. Nobody was accusing you of it – and anyway it’s OK to be a feminist! The ‘crazed feminist’ was always the fearful figment of uncomprehending male imaginations – a latter-day virtual witch to be held out for virtual ducking and burning. Don’t make out that she actually exists!

We live in what is still fundamentally a deeply chauvinistic society – both in the generic and specific sense of the word. Though we are lucky to have strong, capable feminists among us and though significant advances have been made, too many Irish women are to varying degrees still deferential to men – still consciously or subconsciously afraid to assert themselves reasonably for fear of alienating or irritating when interacting with men whether personally, socially or professionally. You can see it even in our body language when we are around them. And you can see it in the fear some women TDs have of gender quotas what is more.

It’s not just women who suffer from this fear affliction either. Deference is endemic in all aspects of Irish life. As Vincent Browne has written recently, we have even succeeded in being punished by the financial markets for excessive deference to them. We defer to corrupt and incompetent politicians. And despite the outpouring of anger against the abuses of the Catholic Church, the actual sanctions taken against its institutions have been pathetically deferential – if the term is even adequate to describe the legal indemnity they were granted. Hardly surprising, then, that in our society it has been that much harder for women to achieve equal status and representation in all walks of life. The potential is there for women to be the key to bringing this entire, decaying house of cards down to the benefit of all but, clearly, we will be a long time waiting if we don’t seize the initiative for doing so ourselves. Remedial action is regarded as a very ordinary, necessary requirement when righting a wrong in any other context. A hundred other countries have understood the point. If we don’t have gender quotas in Irish politics until we are equally represented and if we are not to lose the gains already made (and the signs are that this already happening) – then there will be no choice but for women to eschew politics and to build an alternative, powerful movement by and for themselves. Ideally, we need both.

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Miriam Cotton has been an editor of the media-monitoring website MediaBite with David Manning for five years and has contributed to numerous national and international print and internet publications including Village magazine, The Irish Examiner, The Real News Network, Counterpunch, Znet.com, Indymedia Ireland and others.)

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I love men. From the time I was a little girl – in a co-educational Catholic school in New York – I learned the boys were the ones who presented me with the REAL competition on the soccer pitch, in the football card trading stakes, in political and current affairs discussions and later, in the workplace. I have always worked in male-dominated fields (Wall Street and business journalism) and enjoyed good support from (most of) my overwhelmingly male bosses.

Dating – and moving up the business ladder – was a different story altogether. Many American men don’t want a girl with a brain (no matter how tiny) and ambition. Some Irish guys still physically shrink away from me when I’m friendly, assuming I’m making a pass at them. (I’m not. I’m married to a great guy.) Others finds the bolshie Yank an amusing distraction.  To some men, a woman with strong opinions and the willingness to voice them is, well, incredibly distasteful.

They believe in the “Women know your limits” school of thought parodied here by the brilliant Harry Enfield on the BBC:  http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LS37SNYjg8w 

A UK Independent article this week, pointed out by RTE broadcaster Miriam O’Callaghan on Twitter @MiriamOCal, also decries the “noise” created by women on television. It claims the new “boss-class” of women makes men feel bad. The author, Amol Rajan, claims many women on tv are bossy, bullying, preachy and patronising. Read it here and weep:

Too much interference on our televisions
http://www.independent.co.uk/arts-entertainment/tv/features/too-much-interference-on-our-televisions-2012099.html

There’s also a myth, taken as fact, in Irish broadcasting that women’s voices are grating/ irritating to the listener. I have not been able to find any research that backs this up. The research I did find says women’s voices are more musical and complex. So, why is Irish journalism such a male-dominated profession?

Una Mullally wrote an interesting piece on the gender imbalance in radio in the Sunday Tribune in May 2010 and found that ” Eighty percent of RTé Radio One’s regular programmes are male-led and 80% of 2fm’s programmes are male-led. Newstalk has 10 weekday programmes, none of which are presented solely by women, although Claire Byrne co-presents Breakfast. The weekend schedule is a little more female friendly, with three of the 11 programmes presented by women. Overall, 84% of content is presented by men. On its weekday shows, Today FM has just one daily female presenter, Alison Curtis. The station has 16 weekend shows and just three are presented by women. Overall, 90% of its programmes are presented by men. Over on 4FM, just one of that station’s 25 programmes is presented by a woman.” Article here: http://www.tribune.ie/magazine/article/2010/may/02/final-edition-radio-gaga-where-are-all-the-women-o/)

In the print media, the draining away of women from the business and (some) news desks is shocking. It wasn’t always this way. The Irish Times and Sunday Times business desks were fairly equal gender-wise when I worked on the desks (1996-2006).  At the moment, the Sunday Business Post seems to buck the trend with a higher ratio of female to male by-lines in the paper.   

Why has this happened? Are women less skilled as “hard news” journalists or do they opt out of journalism to have children? Or, as Carrie Bradshaw might say… “Could the real reason women’s voices are not more widely heard in the media be because women should not have opinions?”

What do you think? @margareteward

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petedSo Pat Kenny thinks he’s a paid up member of the Hammer & Sickle brigade by taking a pay cut from RTE during the recession? Well done Pat. It still doesn’t justifiy the massive salary and utter incompetence when it comes to interviewing people on The Late Late Show. Last Friday, Pete Doherty was a guest and the interview was one of the cringiest, biased things I’ve ever seen (well, it’s not as bad as his patronising, personal-space-invading interview with rape victim Lavinia Kerwick) on Irish telly. I’m no Babyshambles fan and I think Doherty’s talent is negligible, but to some he’s a gifted musician and writer. To others, he’s tabloid fodder and a drug addict. No matter what he is, he deserved to be treated with a little more respect than Kenny afforded him. At times it looked as though the interview was being carried out by either a kindly but ashamed uncle or a wishy-washy social worker, not a former political correspondent (Today Tonight, anyone?) or someone who has decades of experience at interviewing famous people. It was a new nadir for Kenny, who asked question after samey question about drugs, Kate Moss, being a disappointment to his family, being a role model and, er, more drugs. All with a barely concealed condescension. Doherty is no genius, but he deserved better than that. When will the bigwigs at RTE face up to the fact that Kenny is out of touch with reality, false when faced with human interest stories and an overpaid relic that should be reinterred?

You can watch the car crash unfold at the start of this clipby

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6a00d09e516075be2b00e398a779850004-500piQuestion: how to you react when you hear everyone banging on about a new and much-hyped TV programme? The type of shows, say, that turn people into heinous YouTube bores at house parties? If you’re anything like me, you’ll run straight in the opposite direction of it all. Given that every cat, dog and divil is so breathlessly waxing rhapsodical about The Wire for example, I’ve elected to give it a wide berth. Ditto Mad Men, The Inbetweeners and How Not To Live Your Life.  This is not a decision based on the potential merits or otherwise of the shows; it’s more to do with the fact that watching them now under a monstrous cloud of expectation could only end in disappointment. Ach, I will catch up with them eventually, but right now the idea of getting stuck into another TV show reads dangerously like pissing several hours of the only live I’ll ever have up a wall.

All of this means, if course, that I’m shamefully, embarrassingly late to the Summer Heights High party. A friend had been raving about the show – foaming mouth and all – for months, and I filed his rants under ‘telly addict horseshite’. Fast forward to a colder-than-a-prison-guard’s-tit evening in December; drunkenly flipping through the channels, I unearthed a bit of a gem through the snowdrift. Within minutes, I’d run the gamut from hearty belly laughs to actual tears slipping down my face.

The brainchild of 34-year-old Australian Chris Lilley, SHH is shot in that very reliable, well-worn mockumentary style and follows three main characters through a single school term. We have Mr G, a megalomaniac drama teacher who is peddling his own fame-seeking agenda; Ja’mie King, a 16-year-old, pain-in-the-hole of a girl transplanted from a private school on an exchange programme; and Jonah Takalua, a remedial Tongan student who is one verbal warning away from spending the rest of his life on the naughty step.

Hardly a reinvention of the wheel by any means, but Lilley’s execution of these three characters is nothing short of staggering. Playing all three characters, he flits seamlessly between the vile, self-obsessed Ja’mie and Mr. G, a classic study in self-aggrandisement.  After researching his three characters for over a year, he affects the quirks, ticks and affectations of all three so that the viewer experiences a complete and utter suspension of belief.  It’s ridiculously enjoyable to watch him get under the skin of each type.

Perhaps the most disarming thing about Summer Heights High is that it is entirely improvised, the scenes living in Lilley’s head until he arrives on set. Sometimes Lilley’s supporting cast flounder, unsure as to where he is taking the scenes. No doubt they figure that some of Lilley’s more outlandish ramblings will eventually end up on the cutting room floor. However, the teenage girls that make up Ja’mie’s coven keep their cool as (s)he affects valley girl chic:

Another classic that I will no doubt start calling up on YouTube at various parties to annoy everyone:

 

The bottom line is that – irony of ironies – I am now so hooked on this show, I can’t stop harping on about it in polite society. I have developed a mammoth, crippling crush on the one-man creative cauldron that is Chris Lilley, who looks like this in real life:

 

svlilley_narrowweb__300x34901

Speaking of TV crushes, my ovaries start to positively twitch whenever I see critic Charlie Brooker call someone a Bumbox or Celebritwunt on-screen. Like a sort of Holy Moly mailout made flesh, Brooker – via his BBC show Charlie Brooker’s Screenwipe – harpoons various TV shows and trends with the ruthless glee of a right cantankerous bastard. Be still my trousers…

Here he is providing an inspired summation of the Russell Brand/Jonathan Ross bunfight:

Again, I have arrived rather late to the Screenwipe party, but I am rather glad I did…try watching it without tears of laughter springing to your eyes, I dare you.

One party I wish I’d missed altogether, however, is RTE’s newest attempt at a comedy show, This Is Nightlive. In a parallel universe, this half-hour of drivel is called ‘This Is What Thirteen Stone of Smegma Looks Like’. For a start, John Ryan straddles too fine a line between art and life, playing a smarmy, heinous newscaster with frightful conviction. What is ostensibly meant to be a sideswipe at various broadcasters and media quarters has alas been whitewashed and pummelled to such an extent that it’s now a sort f Lidl version of The Day Today. The three jokes that were vaguely funny in the first episode (shown last week) had been disappointingly wheeled back out for last night’s follow-up. Adding insult to injury, the show’s fictional news team remain frightfully two-dimensional and predictable, from the Naas-boutique-plugging showbiz reporter to the ambitious, raven-haired Gaeilgeoir. No prizes, by the way, for guessing their real-life counterparts.

Granted, there are flashes of humour – ‘U2 album gets leaked to Adam’ rolls across on the screen at one point – but these moments are sadly few and far between. At one point Ryan over-eggs a ‘camel-toe’ joke to the point that you want to kick in your own face. No doubt he is aiming for that Gervaisian brand of ‘uncomfortable’ comedy…instead, he sounds like the worst kind of gonkleton.

Of course, it’s our default reaction as a nation to automatically regard any RTE comedy as a great steaming pile of dogwank. Sad to say that in this case, the shoe fits.

 

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Word has reached us at the Anti Room that they’ve finally found someone man enough to share the sofa with Grainne Seoige on her afternoon magazine-style show. Her little sister.

Although it has yet to be confirmed, it is thought that Sile Seoige will replace Joe O’Shea on Seoige & O’Shea. Good news for fans of dole TV who like a bit of skirt…now you’ll get two doe-eyed Gaeilgeoirs for the price of one. If you ask me, it’s a chance to get some proper, slap-and-tickle flirting on mid-afternoon TV missed.

We’re not sure what other men were ever in the frame for this gig – Craig Doyle and Tom Dunne are just two names that have snaked their way off the memo. It probably would have taken a very self-assured and experienced dude to take on Grainne’s megawatt might.

It should be rather interesting to see how the two sisters interact with each other – will Grainne retain her steely, focused vibe now that she’s co-presenting with another woman? Answers on a postcard please…

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