Tuesday 21 October 2014

Who's that on the old 'Nighthawks' re-run? It's so Graham Norton. . .

Published 25/12/2011 | 06:00

It was the fictitious diner frequented by real people.

But Shay Healy has revealed he was always fearful the IRA would take over his RTÉ chat show Nighthawks.

"There we were going out live to the nation three nights a week. The IRA could easily have come in and hijacked it. After all, everybody else got on," Shay told me.

Among the guests were Eagles singer Don Henley, actor Ned Beatty and future chat show host Graham Norton (right) -- all of whom feature in a forthcoming compilation Nighthawks Rehashed. RTÉ will screen it in 2012 as part of their 50th anniversary celebrations.

"Graham Norton was just back from the Edinburgh festival with his Mother Teresa act, which involved him having a tea towel over his head.

"This being 1992, I expected loads of complaints, but all I got was two old men shouting down the phone to me the next day."

Of course there's the famous clip of former Fianna Fáil minister Seán Doherty pulling the plug on then Taoiseach Charles J Haughey, but look out for what follows it, the late Dermot Morgan doing CJ himself, professing family links to every county in Ireland and sounding like a Sat Nav.

There were 298 editions of Nighthawks from 1989-1993.

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