The Ray D'Arcy Show review: 'Brendan O'Connor must be wondering what he did wrong'
Ray D’Arcy announced in advance that his new chat show wouldn’t be “reinventing the wheel”. Fair enough. Nobody expected it to. What you would expect, though, is that the wheel would at least have a little air in its tyre.
The first edition was so dismally flat, it cried out for a bicycle pump and a puncture plaster. D’Arcy bounced on, confessed to feeling the pressure and then embarked on a drawn-out and not particularly amusing anecdote about how things were at home. There was more domestic chit-chat from ex-Munster rugby star Donncha O’Callaghan, who talked about his newborn son’s sleeping habits.
All very cosy, all very dull, while the next guest, Sean O’Brien, the obese man whose nightclub dancing went viral on the internet, was already old news long ago.
Around the bend, however, lurked a car waiting to crash. Former X Factor judge Tulisa refused point blank to talk about her recent, well-publicised controversies (“We’re not going to go there, and you know that”), which left very little to fill up 20 minutes. Why the hell bother booking her in the first place?
When in doubt, bring Tommy Tiernan out. “Should I tear up my cards?” said D’Arcy, doing just that as Tiernan embarked on a typically outrageous riff about erectile dysfunction – his “soft mickey stage”, as he put it.
Even allowing for first-night nerves – and D’Arcy looked awkward and stilted throughout – it was, Tiernan apart, a dire show. No wit, no originality, no compelling reason to exist, really. The only spark came from the hundreds of bulbs illuminating the flashy set.
I was no fan of The Saturday Night Show, but if Brendan O’Connor was watching, he must be wondering what he did wrong.