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It's a funny old night, the IFTAs... but possibly, it's just not funny enough

I GET nervous when I go out. As in, go out socially. It's something that has crept up over the years. So, of course, as I was waiting for all my production team from Room To Improve to arrive in my house for a glass of bubbles before the IFTAs, I wanted to 'call in sick', take off the fancy guna (yes I picked one in the end), and slouch about in my tracksuit, watching the show from the comfort of my room.

But the second they arrived – it was nine hours of giggling.

The mood was set by the arrival of a stretched Hummer – that the boss had organised to take us to the IFTAs. I have looked at these monstrosities in the past as they drove by, with music pumping out and shadows from behind the tinted glass, imagining all sorts of lewd behaviour. And always thinking – who on earth would get into one of those.

Cut to last Saturday night – where I was shouting at my colleague – "PUMP UP THE MUUUUSIC" ... as we drove along the Liffey, with the outside world looking on with pure disdain.

The best part of the IFTA evening was the meal afterwards. The awards ceremony itself was a disappointment, for two reasons. Firstly – we didn't win. Booooo! I suggested demanding a recount, but no-one listened.

Actually – The Radharc Squad was a great series and deserved winner. (Do you hear the graciously swallowed pride there?)

But the event was dull. Simon Delaney, who normally shines, phoned it in. Literally. He opened up the show with an overly long pre-recorded piece, playing on the Liam Neeson phone call from Taken. It's been done – alot.

After that – he sang the Cole Porter song – What A Swell Party This Is. And that was the highlight of the ceremony. Then it was three hours of clapping, with nothing to break the monotony, except for a great performance from Jack L, and four quick loo breaks.

The funniest thing about the evening was The Voice being slagged off by Tommy Tiernan and Chris O'Dowd. Actually no, the best thing was Eoghan McDermott presenting a series of awards that didn't make the main show. He was confident, funny and smart.

As we all piled out of the auditorium, with a hunger that only a fat cow, or horse, could appease, we made our way into the dining area and the real party began. I chatted to Sile Seoige, Sinead Kennedy and the stunning Blathnaid came over to my table and entertained us. The entertainment by the Camembert Quartet was top class, as usual, and the grub and drinks were delicious.

It's a funny old night, the IFTAs. But not funny enough. Making people sit for three hours, well the least you can do is make us laugh – at least twice an hour. That would really make it a swellegant, elegant night.


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