When will the ball drop for RTE?
the station let the nation down with a new year's party that was more oap than vip, writes pat stacey
TV3's director of programming, Ben Frow, was once quoted in a Sunday newspaper saying some people would watch "any old sh*t" RTE1 puts out at 6.30pm on Sundays. Strong words indeed -- especially from the man behind Tallafornia -- but rather wide of the mark. The truth is some people would watch "any old sh*t" RTE1 puts out at any time.
This is proved by the fact that the station's New Year's Eve show was reportedly watched by 687,000 people, with the number rising to almost a million just before midnight. Now, I'm perfectly aware of the phenomenal popularity of the show's host, Miriam O'Callaghan, who is an utterly charming woman.
Miriam is so well-loved by the nation at large, she could stand in front of a blank wall for three hours, smiling beatifically into the camera, and probably still pull in half a million viewers.
But, really -- 687,000 people? On New Year's Eve? At the end of the most miserable and depressing year many of them have lived through? While Jools Holland was over on BBC2 playing host to a galaxy of stars on his annual Hootenanny?
Why? How? Who are these people? Where do they live? Has anyone checked to see how many of them have a pulse?
The evening's guest list provided a chilling glimpse of what it might feel like to be trapped at an in-house party in the RTE canteen, where someone has locked all the doors and spiked the punch with powerful tranquillisers: Jedward, PJ Gallagher, Brendan Grace, Oliver Callan, Crystal Swing, Brendan Bowyer, The High Kings, Marty Morrissey, Jimmy Magee . . . need I go on? All that was missing to complete the dated feel of the show was Miriam interviewing the floating ghosts of Maureen Potter and Paddy Crosbie.
If the government wants to persuade a few hundred thousand more young people to hit the emigration trail and ease the burden on the economy, it could do worse than show RTE's New Year's Eve craptacular on a loop at every dole office in the country.
>smut screen The brilliant New Year's Day episode of Sherlock on BBC1 was the best thing on television over the festive period. But not everyone was impressed. There were complaints . . . well, three, anyway . . . regarding a scene before the 9pm watershed in which Lara Pulver appeared nude.
It's worth noting a couple of things. First, at no time did the lovely Ms Pulver expose her naughty bits. Thanks to some careful poses, more was suggested than seen. Second, not a single one of the 9.5 million viewers in Britain who watched the episode complained to the BBC. All the moaning was done on Twitter, the new forum of choice for Generation Idiot.
One of the three tweeting twits wrote: "How was Sherlock on pre-watershed with that slut walking round with no clothes on for most of it?"
Okay, let's get this straight. Lara Pulver is a fine professional actress with an impressive list of television and stage credits. Sometimes professional actresses (and professional actors) are required to take their clothes off if it's necessary to the script, which it was in the case of Sherlock.
But according to the warped reasoning of the tweeter, a professional actress doing her job qualifies as a "slut".
Maybe it's time people stopped complaining about the imagined tide of filth washing across television and started complaining about the stream of nasty, misogynist effluent that runs through the minds of some of the people watching it, and then ends up being printed in newspapers as a valid example of public opinion.
>tune out After a winter snowstorm of hype, The Voice of Ireland starts on RTE1 tomorrow. Will it be a step up from the wretched You're a Star, which lasted six series but never unearthed a single worthwhile performer, despite continual claims that Ireland is simply awash with singing talent?
Mmm, well, it's always a little unfair to judge a series before it's even begun, but let's put it this way: the coaches on the American version of the show, called simply The Voice, are Christina Aguilera, Cee Lo Green, country singer Blake Shelton and Adam Levine of Maroon 5.
Ours are Sharon Corr, Bressie from The Blizzards, Westlifer Kian Egan and Brian Kennedy, seen last week in TV3's Celebrity Come Dine With Me. If I were you, I wouldn't hold my breath waiting for the next Leona Lewis to turn up. You're more likely to get the next Jerry Lewis.