Darragh McManus reviews Ryan Tubridy's return to Radio One: 'There wasn't a whole lot to the show - it was grand'
Welcome back to Radio 1, Ryan Tubridy.
I can’t believe it’s five years since he left for 2FM – mostly, I suppose, because his shtick, and his shows, remain more-or-less the same, regardless of which station they’re on.
That’s not meant to be snotty; there’s nothing wrong with concentrating on what you’re good at and playing to your strengths. It just seems a tiny bit strange, the way Tubs has been constantly bumped back and forth, by RTE management, between Radio 1 and 2FM; I make it five transfers now in a decade-and-a-half.
Anyway, that’s a discussion for another day. How was today’s opener of The Ryan Tubridy Show? It was fine: a bit dull at times, but Tubridy got straight into it. No first-day nerves, no awkward introductions of himself to the audience – it really was as if he’d never been away.
The length is cut in half, obviously, so the show only had time for two main interviews. The first was with Majella O’Donnell, about Daniel’s appearance on Strictly Come Dancing.
She’s always good value as an interviewee – she’s smart, warm and chatty, perfect for a breezy programme like this one. I laughed when Majella, on asked if she was nervous watching Strictly, replied, “I’m going to be sick for the next three months.” She then added, “I said three months – I’m optimistic.”
The other main bit was a piece on Taxi Watch Kilkenny, a group of drivers in that town who patrol the quays and prevent suicides. It was all explained by Derek Devoy, a transplanted Dub in Kilkenny, and the segment showed one of Tubridy’s strengths: he’s very good at handling potentially painful topics such as suicide, being sensitive without being mawkish.
We also had some open-the-show blather on Electric Picnic (and Fear of Missing Out); a fun competition, aimed at finding Ireland’s most disgustingly dated room; and a little spiel from Ryan about the immigrant crisis, which was fine apart from the stupid and crass comparisons to Nazi death-camps in how Hungary has been handling the situation.
Meanwhile the sport stuff, either solo or with Damien O’Meara, highlighted one of Tubridy’s weaknesses. He’s really not comfortable on sport; I’d be amazed if he genuinely had the slightest interest in it.
And actually that’s fine – I’m getting pretty sick of sport myself. But Ryan should accept this, and skate over the subject as briskly and non-awkwardly as possible.
We finished with a predictably funny montage from comedian Oliver Callan – that Dobbo impersonation is solid gold – and that was that. Really, there wasn’t a whole lot to the show, but it was grand – a solid opening shot.