Entertainment TV Reviews

Tuesday 27 September 2016

There's nowt like new talent, eh? - Ian O'Doherty talks Twink on The 7 O'Clock Show

* The 7 O'Clock Show, TV 3
* The Rose Of Tralee, RTE One
* Cilla Black Funeral, UTV

Published 21/08/2015 | 02:30

Twink co-hosted the 'Seven O'Clock Show', in Martin King's absence. Photo courtesy of TV3
Twink co-hosted the 'Seven O'Clock Show', in Martin King's absence. Photo courtesy of TV3

One of the great advantages of being an independent station with a low budget is that they can throw some new talent into the mix.

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That has certainly been the case with TG4, the most innovative broadcaster in the State which has used its precarious financial position as a strength.

They have proven to be perhaps the best training ground for young broadcasters and, dagnabit, they even managed to make Irish sexy - two words which are seldom, if ever, used in the same sentence without the word 'not' stuck between them.

Good ideas and interesting programming don't always need lots of money and no amount of cash can conceal a bad concept, but ultimately in Ireland we want personalities on our screens.

They don't necessarily have to be famous. They don't have to be household names. They just need to be eager, hungry and have a bit of swagger about them.

TV3 have always tried to claim that they are interested in nurturing new talent and the fact that a few young (ish) presenters have joined from RTE may indicate that they are a bit like an emerging Premier league team - able to attract a bit of established talent while also endeavouring to blood the new kids.

Which is where Twink comes in, apparently. Sorry, which is where Adele King (as she prefers to be known) comes in, apparently.

I don't know what sort of frenzied, slavering panic consumed the production meeting where it was decided that Twink - and the way she might shout at ye - would be the ideal stand-in for Martin King for The 7 O'Clock Show, but I'd certainly like to sample the water they were drinking.

Let's face it, saying she is a new talent is stretching both words to an unreasonable degree but there is something undeniably elemental about her personality - a weird farce of nature which seems utterly unperturbed by anything. Anything, anything at all.

She opened Monday's episode by holding Lucy Kennedy in a hug as rictus tight as Kennedy's smile, but it doesn't matter what programme she appears on, for better or for worse it will simply become the Twink show and damn the eyes of any detractors, or as I'm sure she calls them, the 'haters.'

Almost inevitably, she insisted that she would only appear with her dog Teddy, the small Yorkie who was apparently stolen a while ago.

Now, as much as I love dogs, there's something deeply weird about post-middle-aged women discussing their pooch as if it was their child, but in fairness to the dog, he seemed very relaxed throughout the week-long run.

So relaxed, in fact, that TV3 were forced to issue a statement denying the accusations that he had been tranquillised to make him more docile on the set.

That must have been a first for the TV3 press team.

After all, when you go to PR school, I doubt they train you in the best way to announce that your clients aren't drugging their dogs.

Ah yes, that's the kind of weird, vaguely wonderful madness that happens in the crazy world of Adele.

But there was one jarring moment which, quite frankly, didn't ring true.

While talking to Brenda Donohue she casually mentioned that she, too, had been offered Celebrity Bainisteoir but wisely turned it down.

Really? Twink was offered a chance to appear on telly and she demured?

I suppose I'm prepared to accept that she didn't actually spike her dog to shut him up, but believing that she willingly refused further TV exposure is surely making a most unwelcome imposition on our credulity.

Of course, credulity is something the Irish have in abundance.

How else can you explain the fact that, roughly 125 years since Gay Byrne hung up his mic, The Rose Of Tralee is still going strong?

Halfway through Monday night's instalment of this demented madness I was struck by a really, really depressing thought. It's now nearly 20 years since I first reviewed The Rose of Tralee.

Yup, two decades have passed and while I have changed immeasurably in those years this bog-trotting behemoth continues to lumber through our schedules like a poitin-fuelled funeral wake for common sense and sanity. Unlike last year's winner, 2015's Rose isn't even gay, which is surely a regressive step in the fight for gay rights.

Ah, shag it. What's the point in even reviewing it? It will continue long after the rest of us have died from terminal cultural cringe.

I never met Cilla Black but I always felt as if I hated her. It was never anything personal, I'm sure she was a lovely woman, but by Jesus she inflicted some awful muck on us.

Blind Date was execrable. Surprise Surprise dealt in a form of cynical manipulation that even Big Brother would balk but her televised Funeral in Liverpool was a perfect tribute - lachrymose Scousers crying and pretending they knew her when, of course, they didn't.

But the funeral coverage did remind me of one of the great British female voices.

So I promptly listened to Dusty Springfield.

It's what she would have wanted.

Dusty, that is.

Irish Independent

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