Monthly Archives: December 2016

Irish Media

There is something very interesting about the media industry in Ireland.

The TV shows, the live chat shows, are essentially shit. They are either presented as though it’s the 1930’s and women are just coming out of suffrage or they try to be the most up-to-date modernistic show ever. Sadly, there is no in-between. The presenters themselves are also shit.

On a recent afternoon show (think Pebble Mill at One but without the stunning set or cosy jumpers) the following conversation took place.

“Hello and welcome. As 2016 draws to a close…” he starts.
“2017 Patrick, 2017!” she interrupts.
“What? Is it? Yes, of course it is. Sorry. As 2017 draws to a close we look at the year gone by and the highs and lows. Shona you’ve had a good year haven’t you?”
“What?” she replies.
“Your year has been good hasn’t it?”
“Patrick, mammy died in February, my husband walked out on me, I had that stroke which kept me off the show without pay for two months and last week I found out they’re not renewing my contract next year, so no, my year has not been good!” she tells him.
“That’s lovely,” says Patrick with a very sincere smile then turns to the wrong camera, “and we’ll here more about your year [the viewer] later on in the show.”

Okay, so I’m really exaggerating there but it’s pretty close. Utter crap and very unprofessional.

The breakfast television show is no better. Ireland AM!

“I think everyone agrees he was one of the worlds greatest film directors,” says the female presenter about Stanley Kubrick.
“I don’t!” says one of the two males.
“Well you’re the only one,” she laughs.
“No, I thought he was bollocks!” says the other male.
“There you go, he agrees with me,” she says.
“No, I meant he was shit. I never understood his stuff.”

And yes, they do say shit on the telly in the morning.

I don’t think I’ll start on Fair City. Irelands answer to Dallas but with less shoulder pads and more Guinness. I’d like to talk about the actors in it but there aren’t any. It’s just wooden people talking utter shite! It’s not live (which kinda makes it worse in my book as they have the chance to shout “no, you’re shit, do it again!” but don’t!) so I’m not going to talk about it.

And just to make things worse, at 6pm on RTE1 you get the Angelus! A minute of bells. Religion runs this country although some politicians try and deny it.

Radio shows aren’t that much better but thankfully are getting there.

The content of the shows is great, it’s the presenters that aren’t.

On Newstalk you have Ivan Yates. A guy who complains about how much money some people earn yet he himself gets a parliamentary pension event though he went bankrupt. He went bankrupt in the UK to avoid Irish bankruptcy laws. He’s an asshole. There’s also George Hook who believes some women deserve rape. Nice eh?

The most useless presenter though is Henry McKean. Oh man he’s just awful!

“I’m in Dublin. Chatting with. A guy dressed. As a clown.” He then turns to the poor fella and says “Hello. Tell people. What you’re dressed as!” He repeats everything! It’s awful! I’ve no idea how this man gets work.

4FM have Niall Boylan. A man who seems to purposely get people annoyed. People call in to his chat show and he basically picks those he knows aren’t going to get along. He uses people and it just feels dirty. He’s a bad Jeremy Kyle imitation.

There is so much raw talent on the stages around Ireland that would do a much better job. How the productions companies can’t see it is beyond me. I can only imagine it’s because they’re also as incompetent at their jobs as the presenters.

Be thoughtful this Christmas

As Christmas day approaches we find ourselves surrounded by family and friends and loved ones who we want to celebrate the day with but, for most, there is always an empty seat at the dinner table.

Loss is difficult at any time of the year but during the holiday season we meet with family who we haven’t seen for a while and statements like “Sorry to hear about…” or “Hows your [insert relative] since the death of [insert other relative]”. Having to answer these questions over and over again can be painful and heartbreaking but those asking don’t mean anything by it, they’re trying to be supportive and we love them for that.

One tradition my family had took place on the last Sunday before Christmas. We’d all go to Great Uncle George’s house for tea and sandwiches. All of my mother’s side of the family would arrive and we’d say our hello’s and how are you’s and exchange cards and gifts. As the years went on the number of people attending got smaller. Sometimes because they just didn’t want to and often because, with the likes of my cousins, they’d moved away and couldn’t travel back for one afternoons cup of tea. Can’t really blame them. Sadly the most prevalent reason for people no longer being there was that they’d pass away. One by one the myriad of great aunts and uncles, aunts and uncles, cousins, second cousins and people I’d only ever see once a year got smaller and smaller. It was obvious and it was depressing. I love being part of a big family and it’s sad to see it get smaller.

Today would have been the day we’d met up but this meeting no longer goes on. Great Uncle George and his wife Edna have passed on. Auntie Winnie and Auntie Olive are gone. Uncle Gordon too. None of them here to tell me I’m getting taller or to ask me about girlfriends (yeah, I know!). I’ll raise a drink to them today and wish them a happy Christmas wherever they are. I genuinely do miss them all.

If you’re visiting people this year and you know they’ve suffered a loss during the year be considerate of their feelings. They may want them talked about and remembered fondly. They may also wish for it not to be mentioned. Whatever they choose, and whatever their reasoning, respect that. They deserve it.