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Sunday 16 December 2018

Anna Nolan: Hookie, how can you even look at yourself. You selling out to Sky makes me sick

I HATE those George Hook ads promoting Sky television that litter the box every night. It's hard to pinpoint exactly why the sight of him sends me into a rage because there are so many reasons why I hate it.

Perhaps it's his smug, patronising manner, or the faux 'trust me' sentiment with which he tells us that he knows best and we, the fools, need to listen.

The hypocrisy maddens me. Hook once lamented at length the fact that the Heineken Cup had been bought by Sky and so could not be shown on terrestrial television. It's also the tone of the ad, the wording, the look of him that maddens me. How on earth did Hook agree to make himself sound so condescending? You just want to walk into that room in which he is sitting, whip the chair out from underneath him and shout: "Now who's the stupid-looking one?"

The way George proselytises in relation to us having lost the run of ourselves during the boom years, makes me crack up. No George, we didn't all think we were millionaires. How dare you talk to people like me, who worked hard and now find things so tough -- unlike you, making thousands from this advert.

Not only that, Hook then goes on to tell us that by having Sky+, it's almost like we are going back to basics, that Sky+ is, in a way, helping us to save money.

Give us a break.

Broadcasters who work for the BBC are not allowed to do adverts.

It would be a conflict of interest in relation to their jobs as public servant broadcasters. But the BBC is fully funded by the licence fee. In Ireland, the lines are blurred, for both the commercial broadcasters and RTE, which is semi-State.

When I worked on the Afternoon Show, I was offered a massive advertising campaign with Surf. Tens of thousands and a trip to Fiji. I asked RTE, and they refused to allow me to do it. They were right.

But now RTE broadcasters are flogging things all over the television and radio.

One minute it's Lucy Kennedy asking us to make the switch, the next it's Craig Doyle doing a stupid move on a Segway (among many other equally irritating ads). There was Kathryn Thomas inviting us to use a certain technology provider, Daithi O Se suggesting we cook and Marty telling us that 'every little counts'.

And the most glaring conflict of interest, George Hook, who broadcasts for RTE, telling people to get Sky.

These celebrities might argue they are not staff, that they have no guaranteed long-term contract with their broadcaster and have the right to capitalise on their fame.

And I suppose RTE can say very little about their contract broadcasters doing advertisements when they themselves have moved so far into the murky world of programme sponsorship and product placement.

Fish

So perhaps it just comes down to personal taste and, as a viewer and a consumer, I find it hard to swallow when broadcasters, especially ones who wield enormous power when interviewing public figures, tell me to go to a certain store, buy a particular product or service -- or cook fish a certain way!

And it disgusts and enrages me that a broadcaster such as George Hook is telling the Irish public that they once thought they were loaded and now they should put things straight by having Sky+.

You lose trust in a broadcaster when they sell out and that is certainly how I feel about George Hook thanks to those bloody ads.

Nadia's agony confirms my feeling for BB

THE terrible news that Nadia Almada, winner of Big Brother 5 and contestant on Ultimate Big Brother tried to kill herself after losing out to Brian Dowling confirmed my feelings that we're well rid of this show.

I watched her exit from the house and her interview with Davina, and I felt uncomfortable in the extreme.

Booing

The crowds were booing, Davina looked uneasy and the poor girl was visibly shocked at how the crowd was reacting to her. I saw no reason for people to hate her as much as they seemingly did. It appeared to be one final thumbs-down from the arena of Big Brother fans and Nadia was thrown to the lions.

The following Wednesday, Nadia tried to take her own life.

Perhaps she wasn't in a fit state of mind to go into the house.

Maybe she was already deeply unhappy, but no one should feel that way after leaving the Big Brother house.

Ten years, 11 series and a wonderful final winner in Brian Dowling -- but a sad end to the most famous reality television show of all time.

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