Saturday 24 March 2018

We need a Tubs sub, but does it have to be the ubiquitous Doyle?

Darragh McManus

Darragh McManus

Craig Doyle must be eliminated. Nah, not really (before he has me arrested for making threats). That was a memorable catchphrase introduced by Après Match, lampooning the Dubliner's ubiquity on television.

He seemed – seems – to be everywhere. And now he's on radio too.

Ryan Tubridy is off for his annual stint on BBC, so his 2fm show needed a substitute. Enter Craig. And he's . . . fine, I guess. But is "fine, I guess" good enough?

There's something awfully predictable about the choice of replacements. What qualities, exactly, does Doyle possess that made him the stand-out candidate for this job?

He's a perfectly likeable chap, but lots of people are likeable. I'm likeable. I wouldn't put me in Tubridy's programme. There are better radio broadcasters out there, with more experience, who'd have been more suitable.

At least Simon Delaney – another Tubs sub – was a bit of a wildcard. As it happened, the gamble worked, Delaney was good. Even if it hadn't, something different and imaginative was tried; it could have been marked as an interesting failure.

But this seems uninspired, even lazy, as though someone said; "Ryan's away. Who'll we put in?" and Craig Doyle happened to walk past and the other person said, "What about him?" "Yeah, that'll do – let's get lunch."

Ah, Doyle isn't really the problem: it's the symptom of a deeper malaise. Although while on the subject, I really don't like his accent. It's that smooth, homogenised, "media" intonation: part posh Dublin, a touch of the UK, a little American twang.

And it's everywhere on Irish radio. Whatever happened to regional accents: Cork, Galway, working-class Dublin, and the hundreds of others? You hear hardly any now – not even on regional radio.

I saw the phenomenon cited somewhere as an example of class-based snobbery. Is that why almost everyone on our airwaves sounds like they grew up in SoCoDu, or wants you to think they did?

Presenters are bad; contributors are even worse, especially the women. They all talk in that super-fast, Americanised, "pardee/siddee/Twidder" way.

After a while, more-or-less all I can hear is "bidda-bidda-bidda". Recently I heard two women on radio together, one of them from Cork and one from Dublin . . . and they were literally indistinguishable.

This problem – it must be eliminated.

Irish Independent

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