Saturday 16 December 2017

MacIntyre provides a teasing look at an intriguing reunion

Darragh McManus

Darragh McManus

Donal MacIntyre is probably best known to the public for his stint on TV's Dancing on Ice, but that does the Kildare man a gross disservice. Since the late 90s he's made several fascinating television documentaries, going undercover in the worlds of football hooliganism, high fashion, internet scams and more.

MacIntyre spoke to Claire Byrne, deputising on Marian Finucane (Radio 1), about his next film which he will be making about -- and with -- Jason Marriner. This is one of the so-called Chelsea Headhunters featured in a previous documentary, whose friend assaulted the reporter and his wife in a London bar a few years back.

I found this fascinating, that two such "enemies" could come together and produce something like this. MacIntyre admitted the pair were in negotiations, but was confident the programme would go ahead.

Years back I read his memoir about juggling five assumed identities -- it was gripping, like a real-life Tom Ripley but even more complicated -- and would love to have heard more from MacIntyre. Unfortunately a bad phone-line cut the interview short. Hopefully some other time.

There was more eye-opening -- or ear-opening -- stuff on Newstalk's Sunday Show, where Professor John Crown talked a lot of sense about medicalising heroin for addicts. Pundits and politicians love blustering on about drugs, prohibition and criminality, and most just repeat the same clueless rubbish.

Crown is a medical man, which makes him more qualified from the get-go. And his proposal to control narcotics, without legalising or endorsing them, made perfect sense. Which means, of course, it'll never happen.

Meanwhile, allow me to occupy the moral high ground for a moment: I really didn't like the off-colour text message read out by Des Cahill on Saturday Sport (Radio 1) about "bitches getting pregnant". It was just some stupid joke about greyhounds, and I don't believe in curbing freedom of speech, no matter how distasteful I may find it. But this wasn't suitable for afternoon broadcast.

Finally, to mark the brilliant Muppets movie, a belated shout-out to The Musical Hour on Dublin City FM, which devoted an episode to Muppet music and some entertaining chat about the world's funniest puppets.

Listen to a podcast at the website of host Liam Geraghty: liamswavelength/

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