Monday 23 April 2018

No one holds a floor like Vincent...but two hours is too much

Second Captains, Eoin McDevitt, Ken Early, Ciaran Murphy, Simon Hick and Mark Horgan. Photo: INPHO/Billy Stickland
Second Captains, Eoin McDevitt, Ken Early, Ciaran Murphy, Simon Hick and Mark Horgan. Photo: INPHO/Billy Stickland

TV3 had the Whistles and Bells out in full force last Wednesday for the launch of The People's Debate hosted by the inimitable Vincent Browne.

To be fair Vinzenzo did what he does best - shout, heckle and insult people and if that's what you were expecting then you weren't disappointed. However TV3 have been promoting this new bi-monthly show as a new experiment in TV'. Really? I don't think so.

The first Motion was 'The Government deserves the confidence of the People', but really what we were looking at was future local election candidates setting out their stalls for the forthcoming high jinks. They shouted across each other, contradicted one another and generally behaved like small children who have eaten too much sugar. As one person claimed on twitter, it was Jerry Springer without the nudity and swearing.

Having said that, no one can hold a floor like Vincent Browne and whilst he is undoubtedly contrary, argumentative and sometimes downright rude, he's very entertaining. Two hours of him is a bit too much to cope with in one night though, so think on TV3!

It's hard to believe that Riverdance celebrates the 20th Anniversary of its first performance at Eurovision, this year. A six part documentary series looking at the extreme world of Irish dancing, called Jigs and Wigs kicked off last Thursday on RTE 1.

Last week the programme featured members of the travelling community involved in Irish dancing. While every mammmy in the country fell in love with young Jim, who had a hearing problem yet refused to give up the dancing, all I could think about was the amount of Waterford Crystal young Bridget was cleaning in the Halting Site!

This week features adult dancers and 50-year-old Cathy Desmond from Dublin who hopes to fulfill her dream and qualify for the World Championships.

Watching Nick Meunier masticating his food with gusto, is enough to put me off my dinner but I still found myself glued to the first episode of this year's Masterchef Ireland last Tuesday night on RTE 1.

And whilst cooking wouldn't be my forte, there is something highly addictive about cookery programmes.

Masterchef manages to combine the visual delights of watching food being cooked with the car crash element of reality TV, when the contestants are criticised, humiliated, then shown the door.

It has to be said, I am no fan of Nick Meunier. He has such an annoying face! And whilst you'd expect a certain amount of slagging the contestants, Himself and Dylan McGrath seem to derive great pleasure in being really mean.

Will I be watching it again this week? Of course I will!

I found it difficult to contain my excitement last week due to the return of Gogglebox to our screens last Friday night. It is without doubt in my not so humble opinion, the funniest programme on telly and something that should be prescribed by doctors to watch to cure bad humour!

For those who haven't seen it, Gogglebox is basically us the viewers, watching people watching telly. Yes that is correct and as boring as it sounds, I promise you, you will be holding your sides laughing after five minutes. Narrated by Caroline Aherne, the new series sees the return of the loveable Leon and June, posh couple Steph and Dom and hairdressers Christopher and Stephen as well as some new additions. On Friday night's episode, they discussed the situation in Ukraine, slagged off poor Mary Berry and sang along to Grease. Miss it at your peril!


Second Captains, Wednesday, 10.20 pm, RTE 2

If you're into sport and you like a bit of banter then this is the sports programme for you. You may recall the shock departure last year of Eoin McDevitt, Ken Early and Ciaran Murphy from Newstalk's sports team. It wasn't long before the trio, along with their producers, were snapped up by the Irish Times where they broadcast four weekly sports podcasts as well as contribute written articles. This was followed by them getting their own show - Second Captains - which was such a success it returns to our screens this week, live and straight after the Champions League game.

The Sea Inside, Wednesday, 12.50 am, Channel 4

After directing the spooky The Others, Alejandro Amenabar turned to this heartbreaking drama based on a true story. Javier Bardem plays Ramon Sampedro, a quadriplegic who campaigned for 30 years to practice his right for euthenasia. He meets two women from vastly different backgrounds and changes their lives forever. Bardem is flawless in the role.

How to be a Billionaire, Thursday, 10 pm, Channel 4

Well we'd all like to know that! This programme meets some of the world's wealthiest and most successful individuals, finding out about their lives, their lifestyle, their dreams for the future and how they have achieved their success. They also reveal the revoluntionary new projects they are now devoting their time and resources to. These include Russian businessman Dimitry Itskov who is driving a worldwide project in the search for immortality.

The Good Wife, Thursday, 9 pm, More 4

One of the best dramas on tv at the moment, starring Julianna Margulies. Alicia is summoned to be a witness back at the law firm she has just been fired from, which is being sued for $6 million. Cute hoor that she is, she makes her help conditional, but it is a short lived triumph. The gloves are off and neither Alicia nor her former colleagues are afraid of the 'see you in court' threat. Things are about to get very interesting.

Jonathan Creek, Friday, BBC 1, 9 pm

Just when we were getting used to having something a bit different to watch of a Friday and this new season of Jonathan Creek is over! Three episodes is just not enough. The last episode shows Creek and Polly's marriage being put under strain when a chance meeting with a stunning weather forecaster sows the seeds of insecurity in Polly's mind - especially when it emerges that her husband and the glamorous Daisy Shand share a rather unusual and intimate secret from the past. Meanwhile the Creeks' new cleaning lady Denise, details her plans for a night of sin with a hunky young male escort. But when the event takes a sudden tragic turn they are called in to help and so begins a bizarre twist involving a case of mistaken identity!

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