Thursday 17 October 2019

Bailey joins the ranks of classic radio car crashes

 

RTE’s Sean O’Rourke
RTE’s Sean O’Rourke
Darragh McManus

Darragh McManus

Almost before it had ended, that Maria Bailey interview on Today with Sean O'Rourke (Radio 1, Mon-Fri 10am) had assumed legendary status.

One Fine Gael TD apparently quipped that she could now seek compensation for "a f**king car crash" - it really did seem that bad in political terms.

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This joins the ranks of all-time classic moments on the Irish airwaves: something which will be referenced, joked about, and used as a cautionary guide, for time immemorial.

Joe Jacob and the iodine, Pee Flynn's three houses, "on mature recollection", Seán Doherty on Nighthawks, "Albert, don't burst up the party": to this list we can add Bailey's surreal act of self-defence.

Where do you even begin?

It was all equally baffling and hilarious.

"I'm not opening a trial here." "That is an invasion of my privacy and humanity."

"Somebody has tried to character assassinate me." "I was never looking for compensation." "I am the subject of clickbait." "I am a strong female politician and some people don't like that."

My favourite was: "As somebody who grew up on the sideline of a GAA pitch… I don't play offside."

As someone who's played both GAA and soccer, I can confirm: Gaelic games don't have an offside rule.

O'Rourke did a sterling job, although when someone is so lacking in self-awareness, well… just ask relevant questions and they'll take care of the rest, which is precisely what Bailey did.

As a listener, it was solid gold all the way.

"Solid gold" isn't exactly how you'd describe the output of 2FM for most of its existence, yet most of us have some good memories of it.

2FM40: The Uncensored Story (Fri 7pm) was an affectionate, breezy and, at times, surprisingly contemplative homage to the station on its 40th birthday.

There was something sweet, even wistful, about hearing all those voices again, still familiar after all these years: a young Pat Kenny, the late Vincent Hanley, old reliables like Gareth O'Callaghan and Larry Gogan. 2FM's future may be uncertain, but its past is fondly remembered.

Meanwhile, the elections finally sparked into life, with the counts at least providing drama and excitement. Radio 1 and Newstalk went big all weekend and into the week, disrupting schedules and breaking into other shows - I love when radio gets a good shake-up like that.

And I love election results.

Politics has been called "showbusiness for ugly people" - I guess this is their Oscars, Electric Picnic and MTV Awards rolled into one.

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