TV Watch with Bernie Ni Fhlatharta
Watching Sport Relief on BBC over the weekend made me nostalgic for the biennial Telethon event that used to be broadcast by RTE.
It was a marathon broadcast on the BBC on Friday night and it turned into an emotional journey of tears and laughter.
Millions of pounds were raised by sportsmen and women aided by BBC presenters and personalities.
And that’s the thing about the Beeb, they have so many vehicles for comedians and entertainers to become even bigger personalities, because without them, events like Sport Relief wouldn’t be the same.
And yes, it was entertaining. In fact it was addictive as we saw David Beckham in an Only Fools and Horses skit, we saw Gary Lineker trying to sing and we saw paralypians doing Strictly Come Dancing.
But of course viewers were reminded throughout show of the reason the money was being raised and some of the footage from developing countries were quite upsetting. Watching starving children and babies dying from malaria, as well as seeing villagers living right beside a river of sewage is hard viewing on any night.
The BBC have been filming fundraisers for months and one of those was of Davina McCall’s gruelling seven day cycle, run and swim which resulted in her being rescued from Lake Windermere when she got hypothermia. That event alone raised £2.2m because the British public love Davina, who has been involved with Sport Relief for 15 years.
But one of the stars of the show had to be David Walliams who is an all rounder. He sang and danced with Kylie Minogue and Jason Donovan, he flirted with co-presenter Gary Lineker adding to the guessing game about his sexuality and, basically, kept the show going from 7pm for three hours until Claudia Winkleman and Jack Whitehall took over on BBC 2.
The broadcaster invests time and possibly money on their presenters and for an event like this, it pays off. And hasn’t Clare Balding really glammed up. She has been constantly on our screens since the Winter Olympics.
For more, read this week’s Connacht Sentinel.
Maeve named as Film Fleadh programmer
Limerick woman Maeve McGrath has been named as the new Director of Programming for Galway Film Fleadh, taking over from Will Fitzgerald. She will be responsible for curating this year’s festival, which will run from July 11-16.
She previously worked as artistic director of Kerry International Film Festival, producer at Carlow Arts Festival and joint short film programmer at Dublin International Film Festival.
Maeve is involved with Limerick’s artist-led, community-focused facility, The GAFF where she recently curated a community audio/visual project, Tiny Little Histories, and produced TravFest, a Traveller wellness festival as part of Guth na Mincéirí.
She has a Master’s in Media Studies from Limerick’s Mary I/UL, graduating in 2015 with the thesis, Irish Short Film: The Road To Oscar.
“The Fleadh has a very special place on the film festival circuit, nationally and internationally, and I am delighted to be part of the team that will programme the 35th edition,” she stated.
“I forward to being part of the continued growth of the Galway Film Fleadh and supporting the development of emerging and established filmmakers.”
Mystery of Wolfe Tone’s death
Historical entertainer Paddy Cullivan will be at the Town Hall Theatre on Thursday next, February 2, with The Murder of Wolfe Tone, the incredible story of the mysterious death of Theobald Wolfe Tone, leader of the 1798 Rebellion and the man who is regarded as the founding father of Irish republicanism.
In this audio-visual show featuring hundreds of images, shocking new research and a vast array of songs, Paddy works to unravel the secrets and lies around what happened that fateful week in Dublin’s Provost’s Prison in November 1798 when 35-year-old Tone was found dead in his cell.
Tickets for The Murder of Wolfe Tone, which starts at 8pm are €20/18, plus a €1 booking charge. They are available at tht.ie, 091-569777 and at the Town Hall Theatre Box Office.
Funnyman Neil brings latest show to Athenry
Comedian Neil Delamere will bring his new show, Delamerium, to the Raheen Woods Hotel in Athenry on Saturday, February 18.
Audiences can expect hilarious stories, wry observations and quick-witted improvisation as Neil tries to makes sense of the world around him.
Neil is one of the top acts working in the Irish comedy scene today, well-known to audiences for his regular television appearances on RTÉ and BBC, as well as his hilarious sell-out stand up tours.
His shows have received stellar reviews and resulted in several platinum-selling DVDs, while Neil has also written and presented comedy documentaries including programmes on the Vikings and St Patrick which won IFTA and Celtic Media awards.
He also presented a series on heroes from Ireland’s past, Holding out for a Hero, on RTÉ 2.
He’s a regular on BBC Northern Ireland’s popular panel show, The Blame Game, as well as being a panellist on BBC 5 Live’s Fighting Talk and has featured on BBC 4’s The News Quiz.
According to the Irish Times, ‘no TV camera could accurately measure the lightning speed of Delamere’s wit’, while the Scotsman awarded him five stars during an appearance at the Edinburgh Fringe, stating: ‘You’ll be hard-pressed to find a more gifted comic at the Fringe.’
He continues to tour at home and abroad and audiences can catch his latest show, Delamerium, on February 18 in Athenry.
Tickets for Delamerium are available from the hotel or at ticketsolve.ie