Environmental issues have become so much a central part of the discourse that even a notoriously grumpy old sceptic such as Ivan Yates now devotes a special section to it, Down to Earth, every week on The Hard Shoulder (Newstalk, Mon-Fri 4pm). The genial and well-informed Dr Cara Augustenborg looks at the latest eco-news and research.
Us media types love a good debate, don't we? Actually, I don't include myself in that - I'd sooner rewatch Aliens for the thousandth time than sit through an hour of politicians arguing across one another - and presumably I'm not the only one.
Life comes at you fast: hard to believe it, but Dolores O'Riordan died almost two years ago. It doesn't feel like that long since the news broke, but there it is: in January 2017, one of Ireland's finest talents passed away at a shockingly young age.
In 1986, during the height of the popularity of Dallas, actor Patrick Duffy appeared on The Late Late Show. At one point, he produced a video camera and started filming his host, Gay Byrne. He quipped that he had filmed Johnny Carson, whom he dubbed the second best chat-show host in the world, and now he had his camera trained on the best of them all.
If there's one thing we Irish inarguably do well, it's death. This admirable national quality was proven once more by the coverage all week of Gay Byrne's passing: while much sadness was expressed, it was as much a celebration of a life less ordinary as lamentation at its ending.
A large portion of 200 job losses at RTÉ will come from the transfer of the National Symphony Orchestra to the National Concert Hall and the closure of the Limerick production facility, according to RTÉ director general Dee Forbes.
When Gay Byrne died yesterday, a part of Irish life and Irish culture died with him. Primarily because there was no one like Gay Byrne. It's as simple as that. In May 2014, over lunch in Chez Max opposite Dublin Castle, I asked him did he ever regret giving up 60 years of his life to RTÉ. He said: "I never wanted to do anything else since I was 14 or 15. I knew nothing about television but I wanted to be Eamonn Andrews. He was my hero."
When I worked in London in the 1990s and Terry Wogan was king of the chat show, people sometimes asked: "Aren't you sorry in Ireland to have lost such a talented broadcaster?" To which I'd always reply: "But we have Gay Byrne." Quod erat demonstrandum. Case proven.
Fans of Frasier will be familiar with the running gag that whenever crisis befalls the radio host, producer Roz reaches for an emergency 'Best of Crane' tape. The best-ofs that colonise the bank holiday schedules are planned and crafted, but it's hard to listen without prejudice.
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