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Latest Ch4 hit leaves no Room To Improve

Denise McNamara

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TV Watch with Denise McNamara

Wouldn’t you just love to be in the commissioning department of Channel Four?

They really do give the thumbs-up to the maddest shows, concepts that just shouldn’t work but somehow or another do, the madder they are the better they are to watch.

The idea of a TV show consisting entirely of watching people watching TV was something which was popularised by The Royle Family. The sitcom featured a family who barely did anything other than watch the box – the granny’s wake will surely go down as the best in TV history.

The sitcom inspired Stephen Lambert – responsible for some of reality TVs most watched programmes, such as Secret Millionaire and Wife Swap – to create Gogglebox, the latest Channel Four hit.

Characters from The Royle Family narrate the show, which brings you into the living room of 14 families around the UK as they sit on the sofa, put the feet up and drink tea – or in the case of the poshies, sip champers, G&Ts and bucketloads of wine – tuning in and out of the last seven days of programmes.

These have been billed as Britain’s most opinionated viewers. There are heated discussions over minutae, debates about the nonsensical story lines of soaps. News programmes often incite the most vitriolic comments, particularly when politicians are featured. It’s a real snapshot of what the people of the nation are feeling.

What makes it really good telly is the spontaneity of it all. Clearly these people feel very much at home despite the cameras and are not afraid to say the first thing on their minds.

Apparently the producers have a team of editors who work 15-hour days sifting through the footage and TV clips to put out a very topical show.

Of the households that are filmed, there are a few real gems. My personal favourites: the hairdressers, the poshies and the retired teachers.

Hairdressers Chris Steed and best friend Stephen Webb from Brighton appear like a lifelong couple such is their easy familiarity. Last week they had some wonderfully bitchy comments about the Kangaroo Dundee man in the Australian outback who is has created a little pouch for joeys in his bed.

For more, read this week’s Connacht Sentinel. 

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Sharon goes global for lockdown album The Reckoning

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Sharon's new album will be available from this Friday.

Despite Covid-19 travel restrictions, Sharon Shannon has gone global for her latest studio album, The Reckoning, which is being released this Friday, November 27.

The Reckoning, which was composed, written and recorded during lockdown, features more than dozen remote collaborations from locations across the world.

All the twelve tracks have been co-written by Sharon and band members and various guest collaborators.

The full-on method in which it was recorded marks a new departure for the Clare-born musician who lives in Galway City, she says.

“Normally when we work on an album, we do one track at a time,” Sharon explains. “But with this, it seems to be an avalanche when you’re working on 13 or 14 tracks every day. It’s like a minefield!”

One of the key tracks, The Jolly Roger, resulted from a challenge which rugby player Robbie Henshaw presented to Sharon during the first Covid lockdown. Issued via Facebook, her task was to learn a new skill. And she did. After five days of intense practice, she created The Jolly Roger Facebook video . That clip of Sharon and her electric guitar has attracted more than 289,000 views since it was uploaded earlier this year.

For more, read this week’s Galway City Tribune.

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The Connacht Tribune Live app is the home of everything that is happening in Galway City and county. It’s completely FREE and features all the latest news, sport and information on what’s on in your area. Click HERE to download it for iPhone and iPad from Apple’s App Store, or HERE to get the Android Version from Google Play.

 

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Artists going to dogs in aid of annual auction

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Work donated to MADRA by Galway artist Grace Cunningham and Achill Island’s Padraig McCaul.

Works by some of Ireland’s top artists, including Grace Cunningham and Finbar McHugh from Galway as well as Padraig McCaul from Achill Island and Charles Harper from Valentia Island, will go under the hammer at this year’s MADRA Dog Rescue Charity Art Auction.

The popular event, which kicks off for viewing next week, will take place online year due to Covid restrictions.

The event, will open for registration and online bids next Thursday, December 3 and will remain available to view and bid online until Monday, December 7 .

The goal is to raise €3,000 to contribute towards vet bills for the Connemara-based dog rescue and adoption charity. MADRA is facing major bills, all without the financial support that’s normally generated by its two charity shops – they have been closed for months this year due to the pandemic.

“We have stunning artworks available with an amazing variety of subjects and styles,” explains MADRA co-founder and director, Marina Fiddler, adding that the organisation is “honoured that so many talented artists have donated such beautiful pieces to support the homeless dogs in our care”.

For more, read this week’s Galway City Tribune.

Get the Connacht Tribune Live app
The Connacht Tribune Live app is the home of everything that is happening in Galway City and county. It’s completely FREE and features all the latest news, sport and information on what’s on in your area. Click HERE to download it for iPhone and iPad from Apple’s App Store, or HERE to get the Android Version from Google Play.

 

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Celebrating Romania on Great Union Day

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ConTempo, will perform a programme from thier native Romania for next Tuesday's lunchthime concert.

The next instalment of the lunchtime music series, From Europe with Love, will take place next Tuesday, December 1, at 1pm. Hosted by Galway Music Residency, it’s the last one for 2020.

It promises to be a special event as Galway’s Ensemble in Residence, the ConTempo Quartet, who are from Romania, celebrate their homeland on what’s known as Great Union Day. This national holiday marks the unification of Transylvania, Bessarabia and Bukovina with the Romanian Kingdom in 1918.

ConTempo will perform a varied programme, showcasing the best of Romanian music. This will feature works by celebrated composers George Enescu and Theodor Grigoriu alongside lesser-known musical treasures. There will be a strong folk theme throughout, making for a lively lunchtime show.

For more, read this week’s Galway City Tribune.

Get the Connacht Tribune Live app
The Connacht Tribune Live app is the home of everything that is happening in Galway City and county. It’s completely FREE and features all the latest news, sport and information on what’s on in your area. Click HERE to download it for iPhone and iPad from Apple’s App Store, or HERE to get the Android Version from Google Play.

 

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