Monday 24 June 2019

Radio: Crushing defeats and comforting musical memories


Minister Simon Coveney
Minister Simon Coveney
Darragh McManus

Darragh McManus

So Theresa May's Brexit deal was resoundingly defeated in the House of Commons, as predicted by, oh, just about everyone. The Late Debate (Radio 1, Tue-Thu 10pm) was quick off the mark in responding, a few hours after the vote, with Katie Hannon's pithy intro marking off the main points to this "crushing defeat": "'Hard border, what hard border?' - Arlene Foster's selective memory, and 'Worst-case scenario': Ireland prepares for a crash-out Brexit."

By the following morning, Simon Coveney was telling Morning Ireland (Radio 1, Mon-Fri 7am) that the country needs to "hold its nerve" as a potentially chaotic Brexit looks ever more likely. Leading Brexiteer Boris Johnson's dad Stanley popped up on The Pat Kenny Show (Newstalk, Mon-Fri 9am) to declare, in that bumbling, self-effacing manner you find in British men of a certain class, "From Mrs May's point of view, it could have gone better." Now that's understatement. The same show heard from former Northern Secretary Theresa Villiers, who said the prime minister needed to "re-engage with Europe and seek better terms".

Meanwhile on Newstalk Breakfast (Mon-Fri 7am), Henry McKean asked Channel 4 news legend Jon Snow "what's going to happen" after this "crazy day"? He replied, "If I knew, I'd be running this country… I have no idea." It may yet, he added, "end up with Remain".

The rest of us have about as much certainty as Snow, which is all rather depressing to think about. Time to take comfort, then, in two things that are always guaranteed to lift the spirits: nostalgia and tidiness.

Weekend Breakfast with Alison Curtis (Today FM, Sat-Sun 8am) spoke to Vera Keohane from Kinsale, Co Cork, Ireland's first KonMari consultant: the method of decluttering your home pioneered (and monetised, of course) by Japanese guru Marie Kondo.

It uses a "very different mindset to what we're used to"; people need to work out what they want to keep and "then discard what no longer serves them in their home". Or, as Kondo herself puts it, hold on to things that "bring you joy".

Meanwhile, Lunchtime Live (Newstalk, Mon-Fri noon) was talking first gigs with music journalist and broadcaster Nadine O'Regan. Her debut was Sunstroke in 1994, Ciara Kelly's was Self-Aid in 86.

The two girls joked about how these reminiscences were making them feel old. One sympathises: my own first gig was so long ago that the hotel in which The 4 of Us played, in 1989, has now lain abandoned for several years.

On Arena (Radio 1, Mon-Fri 7pm) film historian Harvey O'Brien marked the 20th anniversary of The Matrix's release. He reckoned that the film has held up pretty well - having rewatched recently, I'd concur with that.

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