Sunday 19 November 2017

Daithi Ó Sé's 'gluten free' communion comments got the most BAI complaints about the Rose of Tralee

Daithi O Se
Daithi O Se
Mass appeal: North Carolina Rose Maigan Kennedy
Beyonce announces she is pregnant with twins in style
Kirsty Blake Knox

Kirsty Blake Knox

Sometimes, no matter how hard you dig and search and pry - the big stories pass you by.

They sail away unnoticed only to be discovered eight months later during your lunch break.

I'm referring to that cultural apex of last year's centenary celebrations, the 2016 Rose of Tralee.

I fulfilled a lifelong dream when I attended the festival.

It was a week filled with controversy. RTÉ tried to turn the festival into the X Factor with a brutal "Rose Cull", the German Rose performed a version of Lil' Wayne's 'A Milli' - a song about Class A drugs and promiscuous sex - a man dressed as a priest stormed the stage, and Sydney Rose Brianna Parkins sparked a national debate when she talked about Repealing the Eighth.

But it seems the reporters in Tralee - myself included - missed the most controversial moment of the festival; when the North Carolina Rose took to the stage.

For it was she who garnered the most criticism in the latest BAI complaints listing.

In case you can't remember the 2016 North Carolina Rose, let me jog your memory.

She was 27-year-old Maigan Kennedy.

A flame-haired actress.

A classically trained singer and cellist.

And a Protestant.

During the interview, Maigan spoke about her first time attending a Catholic Mass.

It was a good deal livelier than the Protestant services she was used to.

All the "getting up and down" during the Communion was a "great workout" she said, before speaking fondly of the little biscuit (aka the Eucharistic Host) that was handed out to the congregation. At this point, debonair Rose of Tralee host Dáithí Ó Sé interjected, and with a twinkle in his eye asked: "Was it [the host] gluten-free?"

Quality Ó Sé banter right there.

While in the press room we thought nothing of it, a flurry of notepads were being whipped out, complaints were being scribbled down, stamps licked and letters posted out to the BAI.

Viewers were mad. Real mad.

How dare RTÉ let this Rose "ridicule, make fun of, and generally rubbish the Irish Roman Catholic Mass", one irate viewer said.

Some were disappointed in Dáithí and his cavalier attitude.

One said the quip was an "abuse of free speech".

"For the presenter to ask was it gluten-free was inexcusable, knowing as he does, the pain and suffering of our forefathers to attain religious freedom," another viewer added.

Another complainer said Dáithí had made a "complete mockery of what Catholics hold as most sacred".

Did he not know it was an offence against the man upstairs himself - The Almighty?

I've always found the whole BAI complaints system weird - who are these people who set aside the time to give out?

I presume they are the same type of person who think it's a good idea to put comments under MailOnline articles.

Thankfully, the BAI rejected all these complaints, saying the Rose of Tralee Festival was a light-hearted TV show with lighthearted content.

No offence had been intended, it was all just good, clean fun (bar all the other controversies).

So now lets all hold hands, braid each others hair and sing Kumbaya.

Beyoncé's beatific fierce-ness just the medicine

World's gone bloomin' mad: Beyonce broke the internet by announcing she was expecting twins, but... ahem, so what?

That. That is how you announce a pregnancy.  In a pair of sky-blue satin knickers and a mismatching bra that looks like it came from Per Una. Sat in front of a five-foot tall garland packed with fake pink roses and curling ferns. With a net curtain draped on top of your head for good measure. Looking like you've wandered inside the frame of a Rubens painting or a scene from Midsummer's Night Dream.

Beyoncé's pregnancy announcement was the good news story we all needed on that wet Wednesday evening. It had just the right amount of celebration (she's having twins!) and intrigue (where is her wedding ring?) The Guardian ran an artistic evaluation of the picture, claiming that it paid homage to both 15th-century Flemish portraiture and Rococo art work.

Apparently, Bey's knickers are a shade of blue traditionally "used to signify virtue and authority".

And there you were thinking they were just a pair of pants.

Social media went into overdrive about her "beatific fierce-ness" and suggested that Bey would probably be able to breastfeed both twins while singing 'Formation' and dancing to 'Single Ladies'.

"She is the Renaissance!!!" one article yelled. "This photo will hang in a gallery one day".

Lists started popping up about what the photo taught us.

How to be women, how to turn yellowing curtains into a makeshift veil, and how pregnant women are the epitome of sexiness.

It also taught us that matching underwear is vastly overrated. And for that, Beyoncé, I will be eternally grateful.

All the hullabaloo also proved what I have long suspected - that pop-culture gossip is chicken soup for the soul. And we need a decent serving as we wade through a sea of headlines about Brexit, Trump and Doomsday clocks.


Gosling-tine's day

Dublin's Lighthouse Cinema is screening four of Oscar-nominee Ryan Gosling's films (and serving red wine) on February 14.

Avian influenced frocks

See Nicola Kidman at the SAG awards. Wonderfully garish.

Nicole Kidman


Republic of Telly

Given the heave-ho. Sad, but those Carry On Camping-style sketches with Irish models were growing old.

Georgia filming a wedding sketch for Republic of Telly


Working out at work. Fitness experts recommend doing chair squats while talking on the phone. A little distracting, I'd imagine.

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