Monday 20 May 2019

ivan the excitable sure ain't no paxo

Hmm. It's funny how, in the few weeks he's been presenting the Breakfast Show on Newstalk, all the talk about Ivan Yates has referred to the newfound 'gravity' and 'weight' he's brought to the programme.

Ger Gilroy got turfed out, reportedly, because he wasn't, well, grave and weighty enough, and station bosses brought in Ivan to counterbalance Claire Byrne with some much-needed, yes, gravity and weight.

So everyone keeps saying, anyway. But this is sort of funny to me because I don't find anything particularly grave or weighty about the guy at all.

Sure, it's not like his presenting style channels Graham Norton or anything like that, but it ain't quite Jeremy Paxman either.

Personally, I find Ms Byrne to be the more imposing and impressive of the two -- perhaps due to the fact that she's a professional broadcaster and journalist, not a big-name 'celebrity' parachuted in to grab the public's attention.

Really, what other reason is there for Ivan Yates co-hosting one of Newstalk's two flagship current affairs shows?

For while he does a fairly decent job at asking the tough questions, there's something about him that's hard to take seriously.

Maybe it's the silly appearances on Celebrity Bainisteoir. Maybe it's the constant blathering on about betting odds, like anyone cares outside of bookies and losers gambling their lives away.

Maybe it's the fact that he always seems at rather a heightened emotional pitch, like he's about to burst into song and have a nervous breakdown simultaneously. Though he wouldn't be alone in that in the mornings.

Most early radio -- including the ostensibly sober Morning Ireland -- is way, way too excitable and manic for such an early hour.

Everything is a CRISIS! Or a DISGRACE! And it makes us all want to PANIC until we HAVE A SEIZURE!

Though possibly that's just me.

Far more relaxing -- and ironically more weighty -- has been Pat Kenny's excellent serious of debates with European election candidates.

Yet more proof that he is unparalleled in Ireland as a current affairs broadcaster ... and more reason to lament all those years he wasted doing rubbish entertainment TV.

dmcmanus@independent.ie

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