Saturday Night with Miriam is back for its 11th season (!!!) and it’s still no clearer what purpose it’s supposed to serve beyond giving its charmed host something to keep her occupied during the summer
ven by the series’ curious interpretation of what constitutes light entertainment, the opening show was a strange confection, as soggy and indigestible as a wet fruit cake.
The first item featured US Ambassador Kevin O’Malley and singer Charlie McGettigan talking about this week’s awful events in Berkeley.
Seeing McGettigan break down while recalling the death of his only son, a J1 student at the time, in a construction accident in 1996 was uncomfortable (for this viewer, anyway) and the entire item felt misjudged in such a lightweight environment.
O’Callaghan’s chat with footballer Stephanie Roche, who was the runner-up in last year’s Puskas Award for goal of the year and has just signed for Sunderland, was perfunctory. Getting through an interview with one of the country’s top female footballers without even mentioning the ongoing Women’s World Cup in Canada was a sign of some seriously shoddy research.
I’m afraid I tuned out when O’Callaghan introduced her final guests: Marty Whelan and Sinéad Kennedy, hosts of “everyone’s favourite game show”, Winning Streak. Everyone’s? Really? That’s you put in your place, Pointless!
The fact that O’Callaghan now trills “There’s one for everyone in the audience” when showering the inevitable freebies on the virtually moribund studio crowd cements the feeling that Saturday Night with Miriam is itching to be The Late Late Show. But then the same is true of every RTE chat show except The Late Late Show itself.
When it comes to priorities, entertaining everyone in the (viewing) audience ranks very low on the list.