Wednesday 17 January 2018

DVD reviews

Niki Lauda
Niki Lauda
Ian O'Doherty

Ian O'Doherty

Celebrity MasterChef

Sunday, RTE One, 9.30pm

Dynamo – Magician Impossible

Friday, Watch, 9pm

Hunt v Lauda – F1's Greatest Racing Rivalries

Sunday, BBC2, 9pm

Much has been made of lack of resources down RTE way. But as this year's summer 'celebrity' extravaganza proves, it's not just money that RTE is short of, but well-known faces, too. Kamal Ibrahim, anyone?

Having said that, the contestants seem like good eggs, although as Sunday's opener showed, you can put a good egg in front of Gary Cooke – the first to be evicted – and he still won't know what to do with it.

The ever-affable Nick Munier is as gentle as you would expect and the designated bad guy, Dylan McGrath (right), stands there and gently simmers. As you would expect.

And so the tests came and went and they did their best to make crêpes Suzette from starters – well, if you can include all the ingredients being pre-measured as 'from starters', that is.

But as the contestants lined up like nervous students on the morning of the Leaving Cert to discover their fate, Kamal just shrugged his shoulders and said that because he doesn't cook for a living, he couldn't care less what the judges had to say to him. A fine attitude in life, undoubtedly.

But it rather defeats the purpose of the show when one of the participants simply shrugs his shoulders and says that he doesn't care one way or the other how it goes.

A bit like the rest of us, then.

Q Few people would dare interrupt a bunch of New York homies shooting hoops and turn their basketball into an American football without fearing for their lives.

But that's part of an ordinary working for Stephen Frayne, aka Dynamo, and while we're all aware that his whole shtick is based on gimmickry and sleight of hand, it still doesn't explain how exactly he did it – just like his previous stunts, which have included walking across the Thames and levitating beside a bus.

And I still haven't figured out how he managed to place a working mobile phone inside a glass bottle without breaking it.

When we think about magicians on TV, we tend to think of the hilariously dull David Blaine or the hapless Gob from Arrested Development.

But Frayne, actually comes across as a sweet, gentle sort, lacking the obvious personality disorders so many of his peers exhibit.

Check it out tonight, if only to spend an hour trying to figure out how he orchestrated the stunts. At least once in the show you will simply sit back, stunned and just say "wow".

Q Aficionados of modern motor racing are quick to point out that the technology these cars use is on a par with modern jets – a claim which, given the fact they seem to break down every five minutes, makes a good case for the bus.

But the denatured, sterile modern racing circuit wasn't always so deathly dull and this exploration of the rivalry in 1976 between the Flashmaneque James Hunt and the austere Austrian, Niki Lauda (left) reminded us of a time when Formula 1 was the most glamorous and dangerous sport of them all. History softens memories, of course, but Hunt was a refreshing reminder of what can be so compelling about men strapping themselves into effectively a guided missile and putting their lives on the line.

Irish Independent

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