Paul Healy’s Week


Ones to watch…

Still watching Narcos (Netflix)… it’s superb, a riveting drama. This is the 30-part epic on Columbian drug lord Pablo Escobar and his extraordinary criminal empire… an incredible, mind-blowing tale of corruption, murder and mayhem. Yes, it’s nine years since it was made, but so be it (the joys of Netflix).

In more up to date ‘Netflix news’, I can barely turn on the radio these days without hearing extremely positive reviews of a new release… One Day, which is based on the novel of the same name by David Nicholls, and now on our ‘To watch’ list.

I’m also looking forward to ‘The Greatest Night in Pop’, a documentary on the making, in 1985, of the famous ‘We Are the World’ charity single (in aid of African famine relief).


London(ers) calling

My cousin in London has been in touch, again. It appears that he is serious about making this happen…

Five or six years ago, maybe it was as many as seven, he got in touch with a proposal. A fellow soccer enthusiast, he knew I played a bit of indoor over the years, and suggested coming over with his mates from London.

“I’ll bring my vets’ team over and we’ll play you guys” he said.

It took me a while to realise his friends weren’t all veterinary surgeons, that he was in fact referring to a veterans’ team.

It helped the London lads’ prospects that they were still actually playing indoor, every single week. The indoor soccer crew that I had been a part of for many years had actually retired. Still, we weren’t that long out of action, and I was confident my friends would tog out one more time.

And so, we regrouped. The big match went ahead, although as it was summer, we opted to play on the astroturf in Lecarrow, as opposed to indoors. The Rossies won (the fact that the referee of choice was one of our former players was noted by the visitors). The London lads enjoyed the hospitality in Roscommon Town, Rooskey and Strokestown.

Now, out of the blue, and despite the passing years, my cousin in London is proposing a rematch. This summer. Last time, he brought seven or eight guys, this time, his middle-aged (or older) group of ‘vets’ will, he reckons, run to a party of 15 or more, such is the enthusiasm for the trip.

Things are moving fast. I’m arranging transport, food and drink, accommodation, etc. My cousin in London thinks that’s putting at least a bit of pressure on me. But this initial organisation is the easy part.

The real challenge is… how and where am I going to resurrect a team to take on London’s Likely Lads? To be continued (hopefully).


Drawing a blank…

Can any TV wannabe stop the march of Bradley Walsh? The cheery chap is now unrivalled as the king of quiz shows (episodes of ‘The Chase’ seem to be almost constantly on).

Never being a TV snob, I’ll happily admit that I caught about three minutes of Blankety Blank today, while channel-hopping between matches (rugby, soccer and GAA). The quiz show that never took itself seriously (judging by the prizes) was made famous by the late Terry Wogan. Subsequent popular hosts included Les Dawson and Lily Savage/Paul O’Grady, both also sadly now no longer with us. It appears that TV producers have brought Blankety Blank back, and naturally they’ve sent out a call for our Bradley. Now the charismatic Mr Walsh can make any show fairly entertaining, but Blankety Blank will never again command the viewing figures of old.

During my three-minute bout of nostalgia, a question put to a contestant went as follows: “Unlike Rachel Riley, I really struggled with maths at school, hated algebra, despised fractions – and when it came to decimals I never saw the BLANK”.

The lady filled in the blank with ‘dot’ – much to the disbelief of Bradley and the six celebrity contestants, all of whom had scribbled down ‘point’.

Oh well, I expect the contestant still treasures her ‘chequebook and pen’…


Super Bowl & Swift

I didn’t tune into the much-hyped Taylor Swift Show which was broadcast around the world tonight – live from Las Vegas.

I understand it was pretty spectacular, super even, and that in addition to all the exciting content of a  ‘Swiftian’ nature, the mega-event also featured some good sideshows, such as footballers playing in the background.

I’m not into American Football, but I think the final score was something like Kansas City Chiefs 1 Taylor Swift PR machine 1.


What Michael did next

It’s neither today nor yesterday – okay, 2014, to be precise – since Michael Fitzmaurice emerged as a political force, firstly locally, then nationally, where the fact that he is in much demand with radio and TV current affairs producers points to his popularity within the media sphere and to his profile at Oireachtas level.

A few years back, Independent-minded Michael was at the centre of talks about Government formation – at one stage the symbolically all-important ministerial car seemed destined for Glinsk – but that anticipated Fitz advance fizzled out.

Since then, Michael has evolved into something of a media darling, as well as a rural champion and all-round formidable politician. Over the past couple of years, there was speculation that Fitzmaurice could possibly be losing faith in the power of politics, with some observers suggesting he might actually walk away from it all. Parallel with this distinctly unscientific analysis was speculation that ‘Fitz’ might run in the European Elections, treading (presumably not softly) on the path walked by his one-time great ally, ‘Ming’.

This week, a new development, with news that Deputy Fitzmaurice is throwing his lot in with a Dáil grouping called ‘Independent Ireland’. The use of the word ‘independent’ suggests it is an alliance of independents, but in reality we’re talking here about a  new party.

So it would appear that our no-nonsense Independent Michael Fitzmaurice has now joined a party, one he believes can be a bastion of common sense!

(Michael was a panellist on TV3’s Tonight Show on Monday night. We wish him well in this new venture).