Entertainment Television

Sunday 18 August 2019

Twinkling Through the Years: a welcome reminder there was a time when you needed brains, personality or talent to be let on TV

Twinkling Through the Years, RTE
Twinkling Through the Years, RTE

Michael O'Doherty

The incompar- able Twink is back where she belongs. On TV and in press and radio interviews, you simply couldn't escape her last week.

The reason was an RTE programme that aired at the weekend and looked back over her extraordinary 50-plus years as an entertainer.

Of course, there was only one thing everyone wanted to ask her about. It may be 13 years ago, and only two minutes long, but her famous "Zip up your mickey" voicemail message is a thing of legend.

In 2006, Twink had just read that the new partner of her estranged husband, David Agnew, had given birth to their child.

Ruth Hickey was considerably younger than both Agnew and Twink, and the rage so many women harbour in similar circumstances was unleashed in a message that Twink (Adele King) left on Agnew's voicemail.

Its contents were mentioned in the High Court some years later, with the reported judgment summing up, with magnificent restraint, the contents of Twink's voicemail thus: "The general tone of the message may be deduced from one of its milder passages in which Ms King described Mr Agnew as a "fat, bald, middle-aged d**khead".

The recording is widely available on the internet. Even 13 years after it was first aired, it's well worth a listen.

The incandescent rage of a woman scorned, the explosion of pent-up resentment at having been so treated, somehow comes out as though it had been scripted.

The very first words out of Twink's mouth are: "You stupid f**king d**khead." She berates her ex-husband for not doing anything with his daughters on the Valentine's Day, which had just passed, expressing her disappointment by suggesting if he had been around she would "smack the f**king face off you".

In the most widely-quoted part, she opined that: "You're a f**king idiot, you need to zip up your mickey."

Tantalisingly, Twink mentioned she's still concerned about how the message got released to the public, with both her and, in court, Ms Hickey denying any part in its leaking.

She insisted she's still determined to find out who was responsible.

"They're not off the hook yet," she said. "I'll find out, I'll get to the bottom of it."

Whatever about any proceedings that may be issued for breach of privacy, legal action is surely the least of that culprit's worries, because one can only imagine the tongue-lashing that awaits them.

There are, of course, those who have their issues with Adele, and we must respect the attitudes of some for whom she is simply not their cup of tea.

However, we'd be worse off without her.

In a world where our TV screens are populated with talentless, idiotic fame-seekers, Twinkling Through the Years was a welcome reminder that there was a time when you needed brains, personality or talent to be let on TV.

Twink has all three and then some.

Herald

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