Wednesday 22 November 2017

Michael O'Doherty: Passing the buck when things go wrong doesn't pass muster, Ray

Ray D'Arcy and Jack Nicholson double 'Norman'
Ray D'Arcy and Jack Nicholson double 'Norman'
spice bag
marc o'neill
Colin Farrell attending the official screening of The Lobster during the 59th BFI London Film Festival at Vue West End, Leicester Square, London

A couple of weeks ago, a member of staff in VIP Towers handed in her notice, and I was genuinely sorry to see her move on.

There were no bad feelings, as people coming and going is part of working life, and I honestly believed her when she said she was sad to be leaving.

However, I fear she might well be feeling even more despondent now, because the crew that approached her was the very one that was so publicly humiliated a week ago - the production team on the Ray D'Arcy show.


"It wasn't my idea," said Ray last weekend, and in case you didn't hear it the first time, he repeated it - "it wasn't my idea", words that may haunt him for some time to come.

Ray was referring to his guest that night, Jack Nicholson, who after a grandiose introduction by the presenter, turned out not to be Jack, but an impersonator called Norman.

Having reeled the audience into believing that Norman was the real thing, Ray immediately sensed their disappointment, and understandably felt the need to apologise.

But in so quickly declaring that "it wasn't my idea", he was of course stating that it was someone else's idea to have Norman on as a guest, and the mistake for so doing lay squarely at their feet.

Which raises three interesting points.

First, one would have thought that when the show's title includes your name - it is, after all, the Ray D'Arcy Show - you have some degree of control as to who appears and who doesn't, and by some degree of control I mean the final say.

Second, with a title comes responsibility, and whether or not this was Ray's idea, and even allowing for the fact that he may have had misgivings, only to be talked around by everyone else on his team, he should be man enough to take responsibility when things don't work.

I'm guessing that when Ray does land some outstanding guests, he won't be so quick to point out whether or not it was his idea to have them on.


Whoever was to blame for having Norman on the show is certainly guilty of not having thought through the problem that, once the initial joke had been revealed, where was the interview to go?

However, they sure as hell didn't deserve to be hung out to dry in the manner they were last Saturday.

Massively-well paid presenters are always at pains to point out just how important their team is to them and how without them the show simply wouldn't go on.

My former employee didn't go looking for the job in RTE - to coin Ray's phrase, it wasn't her idea.

Whether or not she felt a few pangs of regret about the move this week, I do know that she'd never be so foolish as to publicly blame anyone else for convincing her to do so.

It's a lesson Ray D'Arcy could do with learning.


Ireland's 'favourite dish' is not so much a takeaway as a please take it away

In the wake of the World Health Organisation suggesting that the consumption of sausages and rashers can be as damaging as exposure to asbestos, perhaps a bit of perspective is called for.

In placing red meat, processed meats and the essential ingredients of a full Irish breakfast into the same carcinogenic category as tobacco, alcohol and plutonium, the WHO is detailing a doomsday scenario.

The actual chances of contracting cancer from the occasional fry-up are negligible. After all, prolonged exposure to strong sunlight is as damaging as any of the above, but no one is suggesting that you stay indoors all your life.

While the damaging aspects of an unhealthy diet are again brought to the fore, a certain strata of Irish society remains blissfully untouched by any exposure to a healthy lifestyle.

As if Ireland needed another crappy awards ceremony, the good people of justeat.ie held their glittering National Takeaway Awards the other week and triumphantly announced Ireland's Favourite Dish. It's called a Spice Bag.

For the uninitiated, a newspaper luckily provided an analysis. It's "chips, onions, battered chicken, chicken wings, onions and even beef ribs, doused in a spicy mix" said the paper, before adding that it's traditionally accompanied by curry sauce and usually preceded by "a few pints".

Quoting a justeat.ie spokesperson saying it was "a spicy miracle" and "a taste explosion", the paper extolled the virtues of this greasy bag of crap as though there's nothing damaging whatsoever in eating it.

On the one hand, it's healthy that the media is here to apply perspective to the scaremongering of the WHO. On the other, however, perhaps they might be a tad less breathless in puffing-up food that's so bad for your health?

As I said, a bit of perspective would be nice...

Never a truer word was spoken, Marc

Congratulations to former Tallafornia star Marc O'Neill, who graduated from Maynooth College with a first class honours degree in molecular biology.

In displaying some refreshing candour, Marc admitted that he wasn't "as bright as some people" and had to work extra hard to get his degree.

Marc claimed it was the proudest thing he'd ever done, a statement that should be borne in mind in relation to his most recent comments on leaving Big Brother.

"I'm a knob to live with. I fart, I pick my nose and I couldn't give a f**k. I can see why people were antagonised. I'm a p****. I'm a c***."

Without wishing to rain on your parade, Marc, you hadn't set the bar particularly high.

Here comes Col, get an interpreter

After a summer recess, the Colin Farrell School of Drivel is open for business again.

Reflecting on how he misses his childhood home in Castleknock, and occasionally drives there in the middle of the night just to park outside it, the Farreller mused on his relationship with his country of birth. And as usual, it's impenetrable nonsense.

"It's a very deep experience to have been shaped and moulded by that country," he reflected, "which is only a reflection of its history and its history is very colourful and very painful and quite recent."

The owners of the house have apparently said he's welcome to come in any time. If so, may I suggest they have an interpreter present to help them converse with him?

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