Saturday 18 November 2017

Brendan O'Connor talks 'Saturday Night Show' return and getting guests off the PR rollercoaster

Aoife Kelly

Aoife Kelly

Brendan O'Connor returns this Saturday September 27 for a new season of the Saturday Night Show and the journalist and broadcaster tells Barry Egan what he has learned regarding guests in the past five years of hosting the popular RTE chat show.

Asked if interviewing celebrities is "sometimes like interviewing a rock" Brendan tells Barry, "We have made a conscious decision as we've gone along to fillet out people who don't have anything to say, because there's a lot of them around.

"We try not to go the PR rollercoaster of, 'Here's my book, here's my film, here's my thing' and they just want to talk - I'm sure you find the same thing - people want to talk about their product.

"If I just kept going on about the Saturday Night Show coming back on Saturday at 9.50pm, don't miss it..."

Hollywood actor Michael Madsen was a guest on the live show last season and, following his interview, he launched into an unscripted, very lengthy poetry reading.

"I like those things, I like the madness, and for people watching at home as well, what people are mainly looking for in a live show is the thing that’s not meant to happen," says Brendan.

"Michael Madsen, short of getting Mickey Rourke, he’s the last great Hollywood maverick."

Brendan reveals that he had agreed to Michael reading a poem on air the previous night when they were drinking whiskey together but was unprepared when Michael started reciting the poem over his alloted interview time.

"We had finished the interview, the allotted time was gone, and he started reading this poem and it went on and on. 

"They were screaming in my ear but this poem meant a lot to him, it was about his father who he had a difficult relationship with, he was practically in tears, I was kind of  in tears as well. 

"It was very poignant for him so here you have it, Hollywood hellraiser, probably sentimentally drunk, reading a poem to his father that went on and on. 

"You could see the audience getting steadily more nervous, and imagine the viewers at home getting nervous too, but is that not what people watch these things for?"

On the first show of the new season will feature an interview with Mayor of Boston, Marty Walsh who will talk about his Irish roots and being the first Irish-American Mayor of Boston in over 20 years.

TV3's Ireland AM host Mark Cagney and three of the stars of RTE 2's Connected series - Venetia Quick, Kate McGrew, and Nicole McQuillan will also be in studio.

Brendan will link-up live to Marty Morrissey and the winning team from the All-Ireland final, and director Gary Shore will pop in to chat about his debut feature, Dracula Untold.

The Saturday Night Show returns Saturday September 27 on RTE One at 9.50pm

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