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Sunday 4 December 2016

Michael O'Doherty: Scrum down for the rugby World Cup bonanza? ... I think I'll pass thanks

ëOff The Ballí presenter Joe Molloy and Top comedian Andrew Maxwell pictured on the set of TV3ís new rugby entertainment show ëThe Sin Biní.
ëOff The Ballí presenter Joe Molloy and Top comedian Andrew Maxwell pictured on the set of TV3ís new rugby entertainment show ëThe Sin Biní.
Jonathan Clynch
Mark Andrew Adams

I have nothing against the Irish rugby team.

Sure, the fanatical devotion that the team engenders, the absurd deification of its players, regularly touted as "legends" and "role models" due simply to their prowess on a rugby pitch, is a tad excessive at the best of times.

The implication that you are somehow unpatriotic in not having your mood defined by how the team has performed further reveals, one dares suggest, a slight imbalance in some people's priorities.

The importance about an event dubbed the "World Cup" - when only 20 teams are competing in the finals because that is the total number of countries on the planet that actually plays the sport to any sort of level - suggests a tendency to over-hype what is, in global terms, a minority sporting event. But most grating of all, surely, will be the TV coverage.

TV3 have secured the exclusive rights to the tournament, a fact which everyone on the island must surely be aware of, as they have been banging on about this coup for the past year. Tune into any of their shows and a logo in the top right gives you a countdown to when the coverage starts on TV3. Seriously guys, it's only a game ...

As if six weeks of coverage, repeats and re-repeats (this is TV3, after all) wasn't enough, the station have now announced The Sin Bin.

Shamelessly aping RTE's Up for the Match and Apres Match, TV3 have announced The Sin Bin as "cheeky, topical entertainment show ... where every funny, contentious, or off the ball moment of the tournament will be ripped apart and thrown into our comedic half-hour mix".

The Sin Bin promises to feature just about anyone to ever pull on an Irish rugby jersey, inflicting us with the thing that these days seems to outnumber civil servants.

Ex-rugby players turned World Cup pundits ...

 

 

Clynch's choice to identify as gender fluid may be brave, but it's hardly news

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I shall not be adding my name to the list of well-wishers falling over themselves to reveal to the world of social media their political correctness, their generous spirit, their overpowering love for fellow human beings, by congratulating RTE presenter Jonathan Clynch on his "brave" decision to reveal his unusual sexuality.

Radio news presenter Jonathan wishes henceforth to be known as Jonathan Rachel Clynch, having declared that he "identifies himself more as male some times, and more as female at other times".

His employers have led the charge, declaring that: "We, both as an employer and broadcaster, value the uniqueness of individuals and encourage diversity and equality ... We are 100pc supportive of Jonathan Rachel".

Wished

Before accusations of homophobia are lobbed in my direction, however, let me clarify the following. I have no lesser opinion of Jonathan this week then I did last week, before most of us knew that he wished to live life as both a man and a woman. Live and let live, as the saying goes.

Far from being outraged, shocked, thrilled or inspired, the news of Jonathan's proclivity for dressing as a woman barely registers with me at all. In fact, I could hardly care less about his decision - and therein lies the problem.

Jonathan was due to go on Marian Finucane's radio show on Saturday morning, presumably to make his big announcement. However, he pulled out at the last minute when a newspaper ran the story first.

"After today's front page, Jonathan wants to speak about his decision on his own terms," said Marian.

In so doing, Jonathan joins people such as Leo Varadkar and Oliver Callan, who have chosen to make revelations about their sexuality on RTE shows.

Which prompts the obvious question - if these people don't want a big deal made about their sexuality - and consider it to be a private matter which no-one should be upset about - then why do they insist on trying to create the maximum amount of publicity?

With Oliver and Leo, one can at least defend them by suggesting that as high-profile figures their sexuality is in the public interest. But why does Jonathan, or indeed RTE, consider the revelation about a radio news presenter's life choices to be something worthy of a fanfare?

Annoyance

Of even greater annoyance, however, is Jonathan's wish to be described as "gender fluid".

In so doing, he has added another expression to the popular lexicon which we are no doubt obliged to remember, lest offence be taken at being called bisexual, transexual, transgender or, heaven forbid, a cross-dresser.

He has also, perhaps unwittingly, portrayed himself as a tad self-important, coming up with a grandiose expression when he could just as well have left it at the fact that, essentially, he's a man who likes to dress up as a woman.

It would have been easier for all of us if we could just address him with the name that most of us would have used when hearing of the news of this most minor of RTE figures.

Jonathan Who?

 

 

 

 

 

Model behaviour at Dublin airport

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Male model and "TV presenter" Mark Andrew Adams was stopped in Dublin Airport on Saturday, with €570,000 in cash in his luggage before he could board a flight to Brussels.

I am unsure about the exact nature of Mark's TV career - and he has directed all questions about the money to his solicitor - refusing to reveal whether or not this tidy sum contradicts the widespread belief that Irish male models don't earn much money.

Adams (inset) has apparently been under surveillance for some time, and police who swooped to confiscate his cash described it as "an intelligence-led operation".

Intelligence, one might suggest, is the one thing that Mark himself seems to be lacking ...

 

RTE out for more of our money again

Having broken even in 2014, RTE are now seeking a hike in their licence fee, with director general Noel Curran claiming that its fee is the cheapest in western Europe.

What Noel  conveniently omits to mention, of course, is that unlike national broadcasters such as the BBC, RTE are allowed to supplement their licence fee revenue with advertising, which more than doubles the income they receive.

The reason why RTE needs more money is not to make better programmes - it is to employ more staff, and pay them better. The number of staff rose again last year, their salaries are due to go back up over the next two years, and they're wasting more money than ever on nonsense costs.

In short, they haven't learned a thing.

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