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Amanda Brunker: My fractious relationship with Neil Prendeville looks like it could be over

 

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Amanda Brunker and Neil Prenderville on RTE Today

Amanda Brunker and Neil Prenderville on RTE Today

Amanda Brunker and Neil Prenderville on RTE Today

I’m breaking up with my husband – my TV husband, that is. Maybe just for the summer, but maybe it’s for good.

After two years on The Today Show couch together in Cork, my fractious relationship with Neil Prendeville looks like it could be over.

Our on-screen arguing peaked on this week’s show, and I’m not sure RTE bosses will let the constant squabbling continue.

To most Dubs, Neil’s that Cork fella who talks a lot.

That is true, but Mr Prendeville is something of a legend down Cork way. He’s even on billboards.

So maybe I should know my place when sharing telly moments with him.

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However, this week I snapped and just couldn’t control my annoyance any longer.

He was first miffed that I questioned his views on the old penalty points scandal.

In a blase, matter-of-fact sort of way, he said he was cool with it as it was “Irish culture” at the time.

I simply asked why it was OK, and likened it to drink-driving 30 years ago, but he had no answer – only thunderous looks.

He then tried to talk me down when I expressed my thoughts on the Daily Mail’s Theresa May and Nicola Sturgeon “Legs-it” mess.

“I did admire their legs,” Neil said. “Nicola has the best pair.”

All credit to him, he’s an extremely knowledgeable man and can talk for Ireland – well, for Cork anyway.

Sadly, his ability to let women talk is not so great.

He regularly barks over myself and host Maura Derrane, and on Tuesday he did the same with guest host Nuala Carey.

Neil’s behaviour, whether intentional or otherwise, was the perfect example of what women encounter every day – mansplaining.

It’s a term that only hit the Oxford English Dictionary in 2014, but it has actually been around forever.

Since Neil is an old-fashioned kind of guy, he’s a mansplain expert.

As far as he was concerned, his words were the only ones that needed to be heard.

Normally I let it slide, but on Tuesday I grew sick of him hogging our screen time.

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The Daily Mail's 'Legs-it' front page

The Daily Mail's 'Legs-it' front page

The Daily Mail's 'Legs-it' front page

 

As with all the panellists on the show, we’re briefed to engage and interact with each other. Monologues are a no-no, but Neil constantly ignores this.

Even in 2017, women are frowned on if they publicly moan that their voices aren’t being heard.

Clearly certain folk need to be reminded that women have as much right as men to share their views.

As a woman scorned I’ll never burn my bra, but I won’t be silenced.

While Ed Miliband quite rightly said the Daily Mail’s ridiculous headline – “Forget Brexit, who won Legs-it!” – was stolen from the 1950s, that doesn’t mean we should reverse any progress strong women have made in breaking down sexist banter in the last 65 years.

Tuesday is our final show before we break.

I reckon it could be explosive. That’s if I’m allowed to speak, of course

Herald