Date Published: 30-Apr-2012
Why is it that everyone who’s even half-recognisable these days has to have their own variation on the chat show? This can range from taking it to unchartered new depths like Craig Doyle – or trying to re-invent it like Matt Lucas.
The kindest thing you could say about The Matt Lucas Awards is that the production team must be in possession of some serious hallucinogenic drugs – because this isn‘t even a good concept, never mind a good show.
The best parts of it are clichéd or stolen from other shows; the setting is supposed to be his flat and the fall guy is in fact his own mother, who is stuck in a small kitchen where her only purpose last week was to pretend not to know that Jordan and Katie Price were one and the same person … and to feed choc ices to her son.
Lucas, meanwhile, is wearing an Argyle jumper that wouldn’t have been in fashion even when he had hair, and the whole thing looks like it was designed in the dark.
Then there’s the hook, where three guests are invited to nominate their choices for a variety of nonsensical ‘awards’ – like Weirdest Celebrity Crush or Smuggest Nation of People – and Lucas picks the winner of the much-coveted and exquisitely-titled ‘Lucas’ statue … a golden miniature naked Matt Lucas.
It is the radio adaptation of the BBC Radio 2 show ‘And The Winner Is…’ in which Matt Lucas and his panel of guests also present awards in unusual categories – but the difference is it’s funny on radio.
Perhaps the problem is best explained by Lucas himself, when he says: “I’m not dressed as a woman, there’s no prosthetics and no swearing, so you probably won’t recognise me. Oh, and my mum’s in it.”
It’s not that Lucas isn’t funny in a different context – although he is keen to flog a dead horse with Little Britain starting well but outstaying its welcome, only to be followed by Come Fly With Me, which was really just mining the same seam at a higher altitude.
Last week’s guests included Germaine Greer, Clive Anderson and the ubiquitous Louis Walsh – in other words you’re not allowed to have a chat show series without him appearing – and the only memorable moments were provided by Anderson and his secret crush on Brian the dog from Family Guy, followed by their unease as silence descended while Lucas munched on the aforementioned choc ice.
Frankly he should have stayed eating it until he choked on the stick.
Our own Dara O’Briain, it must be said, is one of the funniest men on the planet – but his latest effort on the comedy channel Dave, entitled the School of Hard Sums, proves that even he isn’t infallible either.
Now, we already know he’s not your common-or-garden comedian because he studied maths and theoretical physics at UCD and he recently presented the very successful Stargazing series with Professor Brian Cox.
For more, read this week’s Connacht Sentinel.
The way we were – Protecting archives of our past
People’s living conditions less than 100 years ago were frightening. We have come a long way. We talk about water charges today, but back then the local District Councils were erecting pumps for local communities and the lovely town of Mountbellew, according to Council minutes, had open sewers,” says Galway County Council archivist Patria McWalter.
Patria believes we “need to take pride in our history, and we should take the same pride in our historical records as we do in our built heritage”. When you see the wealth of material in her care, this belief makes sense.
She is in charge of caring for the rich collection of administrative records owned by Galway County Council and says “these records are as much part of our history as the Rock of Cashel is. They document our lives and our ancestors’ lives. And nobody can plan for the future unless you learn from the past, what worked and what didn’t”.
Archivists and librarians are often unfairly regarded as being dry, academic types, but that’s certainly not true of Patria. Her enthusiasm is infectious as she turns the pages of several minute books from Galway’s Rural District Councils, all of them at least 100 years old.
Part of her role involved cataloguing all the records of the Councils – Ballinasloe, Clifden, Galway, Gort, Loughrea, Mountbellew, Portumna and Tuam. These records mostly consisted of minutes of various meetings.
When she was cataloguing them she realised their worth to local historians and researchers, so she decided to compile a guide to their content. The result is For the Record: The Archives of Galway’s Rural District Councils, which will be a valuable asset to anybody with an interest in history.
Many representatives on these Councils were local personalities and several were arrested during the political upheaval of the era, she explains.
And, ushering in a new era in history, women were allowed to sit on these Rural District Councils – at the time they were not allowed to sit on County Councils.
All of this information is included in Patria’s introductory essay to the attractively produced A4 size guide, which gives a glimpse into how these Rural Councils operated and the way political thinking changed in Ireland during a short 26-year period. In the early 1900s, these Councils supported Home Rule, but by 1920, they were calling for full independence and refusing to recognise the British administration.
“I love the tone,” says Patria of the minutes from meetings. “The language was very emotive.”
That was certainly true of the Gort Rural District Council. At a meeting in 1907, following riots in Dublin at the premiere of JM Synge’s play, The Playboy of the Western World the councillors’ response was vehement. They recorded their decision to “protest most emphatically against the libellous comedy, The Playboy of the Western World, that was belched forth during the past week in the Abbey Theatre, Dublin, under the fostering care of Lady Gregory and Mr Yeats. We congratulate the good people of Dublin in howling down the gross buffoonery and immoral suggestions that are scattered throughout this scandalous performance.
For more from the archives see this week’s Tribunes here
Real Galway flavour to intermediate club hurling battle in Birr
Date Published: 23-Jan-2013
Athenry fail to take chances as they bow out of Junior Cup
Date Published: 29-Jan-2013
Athenry FC 1
Kilbarrack United 2
(After extra time)
For the second year in succession Athenry were done in extra time in the FAI Junior Cup as last season’s beaten finalist’s came from behind to snatch an excellent game in Moanbawn on Sunday afternoon.
On a heavy pitch that was only playable following extensive groundwork by club officials all morning, the home side were by far the better side in the opening half, but failed to take advantage of a number of opportunities that came their way.
An Alan O’Donovan penalty gave them a merited advantage just after the restart, but thereafter were on the back foot as Kilbarrack took over, but for all their pressing, the home rearguard were dealing comfortably with their forays.
However they were struck a body blow just six minutes from time, as big striker Keith Kirwan was left all alone at the far post to head the equaliser and from that point on the Dubliners were the better side.
They started off the extra time in the ascendancy and enjoying all the momentum before striking for a good winning goal on 104 minutes. A strong bench allowed them to make some necessary changes and it was not a facility that was available to Athenry manager Gabriel Glavin.
With Gary Forde and Gary Delaney out through suspension following their sending off against OLBC in the previous round, and Seamie Crowe injured, it left their bench rather threadbare with just a number of young squad players available.
Playing with the aid of the slight incline and any wind advantage going, the home side had a Connor Cannon effort on target in the opening minute, while John Meleady was just over with a flick at the other end.
Meleady then tested Andrew Walsh who saved comfortably, before the goalkeeper pulled off a brilliant double save on 14 minutes.
Firstly he went full length to push away a Meleady shot and was then back on his feet to parry David Jackson’s close-range rebound.
For more, read this week’s Connacht Sentinel.