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Wednesday 22 November 2017

Anna Nolan: Is there anyone you wouldn't work with for a million dollars?

WHAT is it about Kim Cattrall and Sarah Jessica Parker's relationship that people are so fascinated by? When male actors don't get on, it rarely gets a second thought. But when two leading ladies openly admit that they are not the best of buddies, to say the least, it's like the world is about to stop.

Well, we like a good cat fight, to start with. We love women in film or TV to fall out. I was constantly asked, when working on The Afternoon Show, if we argued. I'm sure people aren't as interested in a male presenter arguing with his colleagues.

Parker and Cattrall haven't tried to hide the fact that they don't like each other. Recently, it was reported that they never spoke to each other when they came off set on Sex And The City 2. It caused huge publicity. Who cares if they hate each other? Who says they should they get along at all? I love the idea of them hating each other and if that's the case, I admire that they can still turn up for work and do a good job.

But I suppose the multi-million dollar pay cheque helps.

Cheesy, dated and way too easy. Yes, it's Keith Barry the mentalist who's taken hip out of hypnotism with this cringe inducing show

JOHN Milton once wrote 'The mind is its own place, and in itself, can make heaven of Hell, a hell of Heaven'.

Well, I felt I was witnessing a bit of hell on Saturday night, when I had the misfortune to watch Keith Barry lining up several members of Craig Doyle's audience, hypnotising them and making them perform the most humiliating acts.

Thirty years ago this might have been entertaining, but Barry's cringe-inducing schtick on this occasion was nothing more than utterly embarrassing -- and, in my opinion, nothing less than manipulative to the max.



CHICKEN

The world of mind tricks has moved considerably since the days of forcing someone through the power of suggestion to do a chicken dance while the audience falls about laughing.

Unfortunately, Mr Barry doesn't seem to have copped this fact.

Derren Brown has done it brilliantly on Channel 4. His programmes, in which he comes up with different ways of playing with people's heads, are thought-provoking, smart, even bewildering.

I saw one such show in which he apparently hypnotised an unsuspecting young man who was playing an arcade computer game.

Derren had seemingly wired up the machine so that it sent subliminal flashes to the player and so sent him into a trance.

It was fascinating to watch.

He brought the guy, who was 'asleep', into a warehouse a few doors down from the arcade. The warehouse was set up exactly like the computer game, and when he woke him up, there were actors pretending to be zombies from the game and the man was given a false gun, which made a real firing sound. He basically thought he was in the game and 'shot' the people to pieces.

It was bizarre and utterly captivating.

After a few minutes, Brown returned and put him under again. He then physically lifted the young man, with the help of his assistants, and transported him back to the arcade game, put the gun part of the game in the young man's hand, and woke him up.

As the man finished the game, awe etched all over his face, he said: "That was the most realistic computer game ever."

ETHICAL

This little piece of programming brought up many questions that had people buzzing around the watercooler in work for days.

Was it even ethical to have done what Derren had with this young man's mind? We wondered just why these shoot-'em-up games are so popular. We discussed what such games might be doing to young men. Could aggressive behaviour in a game transfer to real life?

It was challenging and provocative television, well though-out and executed -- and thoroughly entertaining.

Fast forward to Keith Barry's weak parlour room shenan-igans.

Seeing the Irish mentalist having people pretend to be experiencing orgasms while hypnotised was cheesy, dated and way too easy.

Come on, Keith, show us a little more skill.

Or hand the baton over to the TV hypnotist across the water and find another job.

I'm still feeling World Cup woe

It is utterly depressing that we are not in the World Cup finals this year. When Thierry Henry allowed the ball to brush against his hand, twice, it was a moment that changed everyone's summer. From June 11 to July 11, 32 countries will be thinking life isn't that bad, and for some of those countries they will think life is bloody fantastic.

The tournament, of course, is not all about football, it is also about pride, spirit and inspiration. And my God do we need that at the moment. I was thinking back to 1990, when I was working part time as a domestic in the Coombe Hospital when one of the porters ran down the corridor and said into my ear, "third floor, ward five in 10 minutes". I arrived to find 20 domestic and porter staff all sitting around a TV watching Ireland play Romania.

And when that moment came, when Packie Bonner saved a penalty, the whole country jumped for joy. People have different theories as to what took us out of the last recession.

I think it was the football.

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