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Saturday 22 October 2016

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

Published 02/11/2015 | 20:33

The Ray D'Arcy show featured a Jack Nicholson lookalike on Saturday
The Ray D'Arcy show featured a Jack Nicholson lookalike on Saturday

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.

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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.

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