| 12.5°C Dublin

Week in Radio: Nul points for the girl with the Eurovision tattoo

Wasn't it Wordsworth who waxed lyrical about being young in the dawn, and how it was blissful, or "very heaven", or "amazeballs", or something? I vaguely remember it from a maudlin birthday card I once sent an aged relative, and think Wordsworth was actually referring to the French Revolution, but it matters not.

Card manufacturers are evil geniuses when it comes to recycling all verse as (decontextualised) nostalgia-tinged guff that makes the elderly cry.

If you get misty-eyed when reflecting on the "very heaven" that was the 1980s then you must be revelling in the present. Dallas is back. Catchphrase has been recommissioned. Johnny Logan and Linda Martin are back on centre stage. And mass emigration is here again. Hoorah!

Johnny and Linda are joining Ireland's other Eurovision titans (Eimear Quinn excepted) for a 'Best of Eurovision' show which is touring the country this month.


I know this because Aonghus McAnally and Brenda Donoghue discussed the production at length on Monday's Mooney. I also know this because I've had a mortifying fondness for the Eurovision since I was an uncool youth (and recently checked ticket prices).

But my own shameful affection for the competition pales in comparison to that of 17-year-old Emma from Mullingar (who'd contacted Mooney to out herself as an uber-fan). Donoghue met her outside the O2 to learn more. "I have the DVDs of every single year. I have as many books as I can find," said Emma. "I just love it, it's my whole life. I have a Eurovision tattoo..."

As listeners attempted to process the words "Eurovision tattoo", Donoghue dragged Emma into a studio where Eurovision "legends" were waiting to surprise her.

She sounded as blown away as a 17-year-old possibly can when faced with Charlie McGettigan and Dana, but didn't entirely surrender her teenage irreverence.

"It's wonderful for somebody your age to be interested," said Charlie. "How many people that you hang around with are interested in Eurovision as well?"

"Zero people" quipped Emma, deliciously.

Emma seemed charming, despite perversely choosing Terminal 3 as her favourite Irish entry. I remember Linda's (terrifying) performance. The colossal hair. The blindingly white power suit. She looked like an evil alien she-tyrant come to destroy us all with her sizzling eye-beams (like Ursa from Superman II).

As Wednesday's Culture File proved, there's no stopping this juggernaut of Eighties' revivalism.

With JR Ewing safely ensconced back in Southfork, it's time for another cheesy giant of the small screen to be resurrected. He's a character who "refuses to use a gun", Liam Geraghty told us, "known for his uncanny ability to get out of sticky situations using only everyday items".

Yes, folks, two decades after the show was cancelled, and MacGyver is (astonishingly) back. Before you dash off to rifle through the listings, I should point out that his rebirth is taking place not on TV, but in a new comic book called MacGyver: Fugitive Gauntlet.


One of the people to thank (or blame) for his return is Cork artist Will Sliney, who's working on the series with MacGyver creator Lee David Zlotoff.

Zlotoff "couldn't believe how popular it was here in Ireland," Sliney told Geraghty. "I work on Star Wars as well, but people in Ireland seem to resonate more with MacGyver than they do with Star Wars." I'm not sure if this is something we, as a nation, should be advertising.

A final word for Uncle Gaybo, who returned to Lyric FM duties on Sunday. It was the usual routine. He played some nice jazz, read out complimentary texts from listeners, picked out amusing titbits from the papers, and had a pop at the supposed deficiencies of Irish speech.

He'd been to see The Picture of Dorian Gray at the Abbey, you see, and had been most pleased to find that the producers had "decided to import people who speak properly" to fill the upper-crust roles. "It makes a change," he said, "from so many... theatre groups in Ireland" who (apparently) do upper-class accents "very, very badly".

"Every -- single -- word -- spoken could be heard perfectly," said Gay, in a tone so crisp and pronounced it could have your eye (or ear) out.

No mention of our scandalous "soft T" on Sunday (a Byrne obsession), but it's only a matter of time.