Entertainment Radio

Sunday 20 October 2019

Some tales of the unexpected from Ryan and Marian


Ryan Tubridy
Ryan Tubridy
Darragh McManus

Darragh McManus

I never expected to hear Ryan Tubridy (Radio 1, Mon-Fri 9am) interviewing someone who describes himself as a cyborg. Well, you wouldn't, would you? I mean, if someone asked you to list off the least likely things to encounter on a mid-morning Irish talk-show, "Ryan Tubridy interviewing someone who describes himself as a cyborg" would probably be fairly high up.

Yet that's what happened, as he welcomed Denis Canty to the studio. The Limerick businessman has had two microchips implanted in his hands: a sort of in-built smart device.

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We heard how the procedure was quick and painless, about the benefits of this type of body-modification, and what the future holds in such technology. As a cranky old Luddite who's increasingly bewildered by the modern world, I found the whole thing fascinating and appalling in about equal measure. But Canty was a cheerful and interesting guest, his views drawn out smoothly by Tubridy.

Another thing I never expected to hear was Marian Finucane (Radio 1, Sat-Sun 11am) discussing comics. Not unexpectedly, she happily admitted to knowing virtually nothing about, and having no interest in, the form.

John Hendrick, however, from Big Bang Comics in Dublin, knows his stuff and is passionate about comics. They were specifically talking about Batman - he's just turned 80, but in fairness, he's holding up well.

I wouldn't necessarily put comics on too high a pedestal: a lot of it is silliness for kids, which is fine if you are a kid but adults wouldn't want to take it too seriously. That said, we'll give a pass to Batman - the only vaguely plausible superhero, and a complex character with some depth - and it was cool to hear the Dark Knight given an airing, in between all the current affairs stuff.

Meanwhile, Conor Skehan - former chairman of the Housing Agency and lecturer in planning at Technological University Dublin - gave a brilliant interview to Drivetime (Radio 1, Mon-Fri 4.30pm). Unlike some radio wafflers, Skehan insisted on facts, considered thought, not buying into presumptions and not overreacting. He also gave the media a nice rap on the knuckles for how radio skews the discourse on housing ever towards worst-case-scenarios: "If it bleeds, it leads."

Finally, The 250 podcast discusses IMDB's top-rated movies. Normally I wouldn't be into this overly extensive, and intensive, analysis of pop culture; it seems to suck the fun out of things.

But they've just uploaded a series of pieces on Twin Peaks: The Return which is great. The show itself is excellent, and the discussions are interesting. It's Twin Peaks, for God's sake. This isn't pop-culture, it's mind-bending art that will be studied and dissected in 100 years. Step into the dark woods yourself at Soundcloud, iTunes or Twitter.

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