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If only we could be on this frequency every week

ANOTHER week, another exciting event in Irish life. What a year it's been so far. As has been noted already, the 2011 edition of 'Reeling in the Years' is going to rock. And what are we supposed to do now that boring old reality has returned?

It was nice, though, wasn't it? Nice to experience a warm, vibrant atmosphere in this benighted little land, and block out the usual apocalyptic doomsaying that chimes in our ears 24-7.

The visit of Barack and Michelle Obama, to Dublin and Moneygall, filled the airwaves on Monday, bookended by previews at the weekend and reviews for the rest of the week. And it was all good, really.

I was particularly taken by the contributions of New York Times columnist -- and second-generation Irish woman -- Maureen Dowd, who popped up on The Dunphy Show (Newstalk) and the John Murray Show (Radio 1), alongside TV duties. Dowd's columns would be famous for their wry wit and she speaks pretty much like she writes.

I had the pleasure of interviewing her a few years back and she was droll, funny, sparky and playful. All those qualities came out again during her time in Ireland -- I laughed out loud at her description of Bill Clinton as someone who was filled with a "Grand Canyon of need".

John Murray, incidentally, also interviewed musical legend Emmylou Harris, no stranger to these shores with her iconic performances at Lisdoonvarna Folk Festival in the early 1980s. A wonderful talent, a cool woman and a lovely slot.

You see? It was all sweetness and light this week. Even Brenda Donoghue, reporter on Mooney (Radio 1), who I normally find it hard to warm to, was perfectly acceptable company on Monday. She had manfully battled the elements, and stringent security, to be front-stage in Moneygall when the Prez arrived, and captured the excitement, electricity and general joyful air very well.

Finishing on a suitably upbeat note, a quick recommendation: check out http://gremlinsinthesystem.com for some brilliant parodies on the conventions and clichés of radio. It's the brainchild of 4FM presenter Brian McColl and station producer Bren Russell.

Their spoof news bulletin will have you in stitches, guaranteed. And what better way than comedy to round off this happy week?


Indo Review