Revealed: Behind the scenes on Brendan O'Connor's new RTE show 'The Cutting Edge'
'This is potentially the best show on RTE' - Brendan O'Connor
Brendan O’Connor’s new show hits the screens tonight - and he promises "potentially the best show on RTÉ" for expectant viewers.
O’Connor will be joined by three panellists to discuss the week’s news and entertainment on the RTE 1 series ‘The Cutting Edge’.
While O’Connor knows that his ratings will be compared to the Saturday Night Show he said he hopes that people “will give it a chance”.
“I had no problem being compared to Tub," he told Independent.ie.
"I still will be compared I’m sure to all of them. But I think that this is a very different thing and I think this is a chat show for the 21st century. If you look at the big issue people can have with this sort of thing is that the celebrities aren’t big enough but we’re not reliant on any of that. I’m glad to be out of that dog fight.”
O’Connor said his show is unlike other RTÉ talk shows as they’ve taken all the “best bits” to make his show.
“We’ve cut out the guests, we’ve cut out people plugging anything or telling their lame stories. We’ve taken out all the boring bits.
“This is potentially the best show on RTÉ. It might take a few weeks to get there because I haven’t been on television for a year. I’m nervous, I feel very exposed. I’ll be here with three other people who I can’t control. We’re reliant for something to happen here at the table.”
The panellists will sit around a small table that’s “slightly too close for comfort. If two people are fighting, they’re right next to each other,” said O’Connor.
The show will have a live audience and will have a different group of panellists every week but O’Connor said that “politicians won’t be invited onto the show”.
The host hopes to give the Irish people what they want: “A bit of intensity, a bit of conflict and a bit of a laugh.”
The show will feature human interest stories such as the issues affecting taxi drivers and a ‘soapbox’ every week where people talk about the issues they’re passionate about.
“I want to reflect what people really feel out there. We’re conscious that there’s very little two-way conversation going on out there anymore. There’s kind of an Orthodox view out there and anyone who disagrees with it gets the shit kicked out of them on the internet.”
The show will kick off tomorrow (Wednesday 18 at 10.10pm) on RTÉ One and will feature Pat Shortt, Chris O’Donoghue and Norah Casey.
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“They’re all very interesting people who are not afraid of speaking the truth. It’s an interesting mix and I think there will be disagreements. It’s going to be great from the start.
“It’s not singing and dancing kind of entertaining but it’s the kind of entertaining Irish people like which is a row, a laugh, some tears, some insight.”
O’Connor said that his new show is a better fit for him than the Saturday Night Show.
“I wouldn’t have said that when they cancelled the Saturday Night Show a year ago but this is like a show that’s built around me and my strengths. It’s a show that I’ll be fully engaged and interested in.
“I loved the Saturday Night Show and as time went on I loved it more and more and I’m very proud of a lot of things we did. But obviously there’s 50pc of your guests there you have to be talked into. You have to get enthusiastic about them on the night. But this show is everything I’m interested in.”
O’Connor’s year off from TV allowed him to “reconnect” with himself.
“I think if you spend too long in the world of television, you end up kind of crazy because everyone is tip-toeing around you and being really nice to you. You could end up with an over-inflated sense of importance. It was good to go away from being a chat show host for a year.”
While Ray D’Arcy hasn’t sent on any good luck wishes, O’Connor said “the TV titans have spoken and given me their blessing.
“I don’t need any advice but Miriam is always very generous with her good wishes and Ryan has too.”