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Thank God for 'Liveline' -- it never fails to raise a chuckle

Quick detour here, if you'll forgive me, into unfamiliar territory: The Savage Eye, RTE telly's new comedy, is very funny. There, I've said it.

Now, returning from the top of this page and back to radio: Liveline (Radio 1), another constant source of comic gold. Seriously, is there anything as amusing as listening to the nation's moral guardians and arbiters of right pontificating like it was the latest craze? There is not.

This week we had a raft of people ready and willing to complain about The Savage Eye (and also Brendan O'Carroll's mind-bogglingly dreadful Mrs Brown's Boys). And it was brilliant. Almost as funny as The Savage Eye itself.

My favourite line -- or 'gag', you might say -- was so predictable, so amusing, so perfect in its encapsulation of Liveline, it could almost have been scripted. Ann in Limerick, giving out about McSavage's efforts, opened with this cracker: "As I told your researcher, I didn't see the programme . . ."


Then there was Joe in Longford, and John in Cork (all these names even sound made-up), and possibly Hairy Mary from Tipperary, and who knows how many more.

Thank God for Liveline -- never fails to raise a chuckle.

And thank God for Andy O'Mahony, who is almost singlehandedly keeping the intellectual levels of this nation someway high.

His Off the Shelf (Radio 1) continues to be a shining beacon of art, ideas and culture, as was his excellent Dialogue.

Someone should put a preservation order on O'Mahony: he is a national treasure, giving us something we can't get anywhere else.

I had literally just tuned into Off the Shelf when I heard him say, quoting composer Leonard Meyer: "The emotional charge in music comes not from having expectations fulfilled, but having them frustrated."

How's that for piquing the curiosity and tickling the intellectual pleasure zones?

O'Mahony was discussing Philip Ball's book The Music Instinct with Professor of Psychology Ian Robertson, musician and radio producer Ethna Tinney and jazz composer Ronan Guilfoyle.

It was wonderful, delving deeply into how and why we listen to music with our senses, our minds, our whole bodies. I'm not even sure I understood it fully, but I love it all the same.

Indo Review