‘The audience knew they were in the hands of a master’

A musical number, a chat with a Hollywood star. A debate on the ‘burning issue’ of the day followed by a poem from the woman in the third row, a wave from the man in the fourth and then something for, well, everyone in the audience.

His work ethic was legendary, at the height of his career he was producing and presenting the Late Late, as well as presenting a daily radio show on RTÉ Radio 1.

And that wasn’t all – in the 1980s, while most of the country was enjoying the last days of summer, Gaybo had already started his autumn term, presenting the Rose of Tralee live from the Dome in the Kerry capital.

Add in the ‘Calor Gas Housewife of the Year’ competition and it was no wonder he was known as ‘Uncle Gaybo’ – for some he was as familiar a presence in the home as members of their own families.

Despite his ubiquity however Gay never became complacent about his work and both his television and radio shows broke new ground.

The Gay Byrne Hour, which became the Gay Byrne Show on RTÉ Radio 1, pioneered listener engagement, with listeners writing in and later phoning Gay about the issues of the day or problems close to their hearts.

“Consumer issues, recipes for fruit cake, relationship woes – in the days before social media Gay Byrne was the conduit for all kinds of discussion and debates”

One of the show’s most memorable broadcasts featured letters inspired by the death in childbirth of teenager Anne Lovett in Granard, Co Longford, in 1984.

When news of the tragedy broke, Irish men and women from all around the country wrote to the show with their own stories of abandonment, neglect and fear, stories from the heart which were broadcast to the nation. Continue reading

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This Time with Alan Partridge: Steve Coogan comedy on ABC iview

The funniest show on British television came to an end after six glorious episodes this week — and as of today, it’s also available for Australian viewers to watch for free in full.

This Time With Alan Partridge marks the latest outing for the character that comedian Steve Coogan and Veep creator Armando Iannucci first devised way back in 1991.

Partridge is a consistently inept veteran light entertainment personality: ruled by ego, an appalling listener and cack-handed public speaker and yet somehow — perhaps by virtue of being a straight white man — he remains gainfully employed.

Alan’s got a new gig.

Source: This Time with Alan Partridge: Steve Coogan comedy on ABC iview

Alan’s got a new gig.Source:Supplied

In his latest outing, Alan has been handed a career lifeline: He’d been slumming it as a presenter on a North Norfolk digital radio station when he’s whisked back to the hallowed corridors of the BBC in London.

He’s the new stand-in co-host of weekday lifestyle show This Time, the show’s regular host having fallen ill.

Scene one, episode one and he’s already feeling the pressure:

Alan Partridge is back… and it’s about time!#ThisTime. Tonight. 9.30pm. @BBCOnepic.twitter.com/MvF23TYFcF— BBC Comedy (@bbccomedy) February 25, 2019

Partridge and perpetually chipper co-host Jennie Gresham have a total lack of chemistry, Gresham gamely trying to keep her program on the rails while her new co-host demonstrates time and time again he’s really not the man for this job.

It’s hilarious — and frequently ridiculous. Here’s Alan giving viewers an unsolicited demonstration of how to use a public toilet without ever once using your hands:

Alan Partridge’s Hands-Free Train Toilet Drill will revolutionise your life. #AlanPartridge #ThisTimepic.twitter.com/WVTXYPU4AF— BBC Comedy (@bbccomedy) February 25, 2019

Alan doing his best to build a rapport with a guest who can only be described as Quite Scottish:

Alan has always been a man of the people. #ThisTimepic.twitter.com/Ppb40MrbZG— BBC Comedy (@bbccomedy) March 11, 2019

Alan furiously trying to down an entire sandwich — seeded bread — during a brief commercial break:

“You’ll never break it down”#ThisTime with Alan Partridge, Monday night at 9:30pm on @BB

‘I’ve relished it’: The Derry Girls talk about their platform for change

Stars of the hit show told The Big Issue what causes they’re willing to fight for in this week’s magazine as Nicola Coughlan heads to Westminster to protest Northern Ireland’s abortion laws

In 2018, TV super smash Derry Girls stopped viewers in their tracks. It showed the joyful mundanity of life that continued even during the Troubles, while telling a timeless tale of friendship between girls. The cast spoke to The Big Issue ahead of the Derry Girls series 2 premiere, and made it clear that their time between filming was certainly not wasted.

Jamie-Lee O’Donnell, who plays Michelle Mallon, told The Big Issue she has “relished” being able to use her voice to raise awareness for issues of social justice. “It is one of the perks of the job,” she said. “I am working with an abortion rights charity and on women’s sexual health rights. Abortion is still illegal in Northern Ireland and that is something we feel quite passionate about.”

Co-star Nicola Coughlan, who appears as Clare Devlin, agreed. The group were really involved with the Repeal the Eight campaign, she said, which was “an important time for Irish women – and it is still a situation in Northern Ireland”. She also felt a responsibility to champion LGBTQ charities after playing a gay character.

Louisa Harland, Orla McCool in the show, backed her up. “It is still illegal in the North to get married if you are gay. It is legal in the UK which they are part of, and it is legal in the Republic, as is abortion now. So we feel strongly about the North being recognised.

She added: “Nicola’s character Clare wouldn’t be able to get married today. That is ridiculous.”

And mental health is close to the hearts of O’Donnell and Dylan Llewellyn (who plays James Maguire). “Dealing with suicide in young people is quite close to home for me,” Llewellyn explained, adding that he wants to encourage people to address it and be made to feel comfortable expressing themselves.

O’Donnell said: “Mental health is a big issue in Derry and Northern Ireland, especially men’s mental health and suicide awareness.

“I grew up in a town where things like that and substance abuse were quite bad and still are. So I am always happy to help out if I can by using my face from acting, lending my voice. It has affected me personally and probably everyone I know in Derry.” [ . . . ]

Full Story at THE BIG ISSUE: ‘I’ve relished it’: The Derry Girls talk about their platform for change

‘Fleabag’ to Air on IFC: Phoebe Waller-Bridge Comedy Gets First American TV Run

The Amazon Prime import finally gets a linear run.

Have you still not seen Phoebe Waller-Bridge’s acclaimed cult comedy Fleabag but maintain a moral opposition to shelling out $12.99 a month to Jeff Bezos for Amazon Prime? Well, you’re in luck. The import comedy is finally heading to traditional American TV.

IFC announced Thursday that the first season of the acclaimed serial, based on Waller-Bridge’s stage play of the same name, is getting its first stateside linear run over the holidays. The six-part first season premieres Wednesday, Dec. 26, starting at 11 p.m. Episodes will repeat in late night.

The series was nominated for a Critics Choice Award and won Waller-Bridge a BAFTA for her performance in the lead role. Oscar frontrunner Olivia Coleman (The Favourite) also stars.

Source: ‘Fleabag’ to Air on IFC: Phoebe Waller-Bridge Comedy Gets First American TV Run | Hollywood Reporter