Wednesday 26 October 2016

Tubridy who? There are lots of other voices

Eilis O'Hanlon

Published 13/09/2015 | 02:30

THE VOICE: Paul Herriott’s tones would make any show he presents worth hearing
THE VOICE: Paul Herriott’s tones would make any show he presents worth hearing

According to the station's own phone app, Today FM "features the likes of Ian Dempsey, Ray D'Arcy and Tony Fenton". Not bad, considering that D'Arcy returned to RTE, and Fenton sadly died earlier this year.

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RTE was quicker off the mark. As soon as he was named as John Murray's replacement on Radio One, Ryan Tubridy's name was expunged from the 2fm website - though oddly there's still no mention of his replacement, currently Stephen Byrne, normally heard on weekends.

On Monday, Byrne described how he got a call at last weekend's Electric Picnic to say there was a naked man in his tent, only to wake next morning, having come back and found nothing amiss, to see an empty packet of crisps and a bra next to him. As you do. If, that is, you're foolish enough to go camping at a music festival rather than stay at home in your own bed…

Byrne's cheerful voice is a natural fit for 2fm, and that can make a big difference to one's enjoyment of a particular show. Take Fiachna O Braonain, who's been hosting The John Creedon Show the last few weeks. The Hothouse Flowers singer has a lovely, warm, mellifluous voice. If only Lyric would lure him away for those of us who love hearing it but don't really want to listen to Glen Hansard or "Louisiana swamp blues".

Lyric has all the best voices, including Jazz Alley's Donald Helme and the man behind the sublime, if pretentiously-titled, John Kelly Ensemble.

Best of all there's Paul Herriott, the original presenter of Blue Of The Night, now in charge of The Lyric Concert, whose voice alone would make any show he was presenting worth hearing, even if he didn't bother playing any music. Carl Corcoran, who replaced him on the iconic late night music mix, has a softly soothing tone too, and has effortlessly maintained the show's position as surely one of the best music radio collections on these islands.

BBC Radio Three's equivalent late-night world, jazz and classical music programme, Late Junction, doesn't get the balance anywhere near as perfect. Of course it's all a matter of personal taste, but then what else is there to go on when listening to music radio?

Our Sea, meanwhile, was a special BBC Radio Four drama commissioned to address the issue of refugees crossing the Mediterranean to escape war.

Written by Irishman Ronan Bennett, this felt very much like it had been clumsily put together from scraps of the Guardian and Channel Four News.

Naturally, the first imaginary refugee to feature in the story was a Palestinian from Gaza who'd been brutalised by Israeli troops.

Sunday Independent

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