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Wednesday 20 September 2017

Is Daithi the one to bring sex factor back to the Rose?

Gay Byrne had it. Ryan Tubridy had it. Marty Whelan had it. Derek Davis had it. Ray D'Arcy had it. So, exactly what is 'It'? Why, the job of host at the Rose of Tralee, of course, which -- if you measure success by audience figures alone -- is one of the most successful programmes on RTE and a job most male presenters in Montrose would grab with both hands.

Last year, a staggering 885,000 viewers tuned to see London contestant Charmaine Kenny crowned the 51st Rose after two long, hot nights under the Festival Dome in the bustling Kerry town.

But nothing remains the same forever, and Ray D'Arcy has now passed the tux and the microphone on to 33-year-old Daithi O Se. To be honest, it was about time for a change.

Stay in a job too long, especially on TV, and you begin to look a bit bland.

Given that D'Arcy already has a headstart in the blandness stakes (as a friend of mine memorably put it, he's so bland you wonder if he even dreams at night), now is the right time to move on.

I'm no great fan of the Rose of Tralee, but even a cynic like me can see that Daithi O Se is the ideal man for the job -- a pretty much perfect fit. For one thing, he's from Kerry, which is a distinct advantage. In fact, he's first Kerryman ever to host the competition, which, when you think about it, is quite incredible, given Kerry people's legendary partisan nature.

For another, he brings something new to the job: he's an absolute wow with the women -- a distinct advantage in a competition whose main feature is women in all their wonderful varieties.

Apparently, Daithi oozes sex appeal (which is not something you can easily say of his predecessors). I say apparently because, frankly, I've never been able to see it myself.

Then again, I'm not a woman, I'm a heterosexual man. Whatever voodoo sex laser beams Daithi is firing from those twinkling Kerry eyes of his are not aimed at me.

My wife, on the other hand, IS a woman, yet she can't see it either. The mention of Daithi's name doesn't cause her lip to curl like a quaver in the same way that, say, Daniel O'Donnell's does. Nonetheless, on her league table of lust, Daithi is in the relegation zone.

That said, appointing Daith is a good move and should give a fresh twist to a competition that has done its utmost over the decades to eliminate sex from the equation. Daithi, to quote Justin Timberlake, is bringing sexy back.

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