It could happen to a Bishop (it just did)

As the reigning champion jiver (Gannon’s 2014), and old-time waltzer (Kilbegnet Hall 2015) of the Creggs Harvest Festival, I have been very interested in the RTE production of Dancing with the Stars. So far I have found it to be fairly enjoyable, and even entertaining.

  One of the very obvious benefits of the show has been the serious loss of weight by a number of the contestants and so, at work one day last week, I put on a Declan Nerney tape, and strutted my stuff around the shop floor for a little while – and I have to confess that it was quite strenuous.

  It is most certainly very hard physical work, and as they practice for twelve hours a week, every week, it’s no wonder that so many of the ladies in particular have shed so many pounds (sorry, that should be kilos). 

  However, back to the show itself, and I confess that I was delighted to see Des Bishop get the boot and even more delighted to read on today’s papers that he isn’t very happy about it. Now I have nothing against the American comedian – apart from the fact that I don’t find him funny – but I thought he was arrogant, self-opinionated, and almost rude on the show and he obviously didn’t buy into the spirit of the whole thing. There is no doubt that he was a much better dancer than the other Des, RTE sports presenter Des Cahill, and if that was the only requirement he would be perfectly right to be upset at his elimination.

  However, all these shows are based on more than just technical ability; popularity is also important, and all of the other contestants are apparently more popular with the viewers and voters than our Des. Maybe he should eat humble pie, shut up, and just carry on with the comedy.

  Of the rest that are left the other Des (Cahill) is probably going to win, and if he does he will be about as deserving as I was of my two titles – I was the sole judge in both instances, there were no other participants, and it was a unanimous decision. Des Cahill is about as good a dancer as I am, so he would definitely be a worthy winner.


Why I didn’t fall in love with Late Late Valentine’s special

To matters of comedy and television, and although not being his greatest fan, normally I would be fairly positive about Ryan Tubridy and I would watch the Late Late Show while waiting for the Graham Norton Show. That reminds me of the story about the late Paddy Hardiman, who – having got and eaten a mother and father of a dinner from my late mother-in-law Baba Kelly – he told her in a matter of fact way, thanks very much, it would keep him going till he had his own dinner later at home.

  And so, to last Friday night’s show and while I know hundreds of thousands of people around the country may have enjoyed it, I can only say that I thought it was a load of muck and was so far removed from comedy that, just like Paddy Hardiman, I couldn’t wait for my real dinner – which was of course served up by the excellent Cork man, Norton.

  I suppose it’s easy to put out a good show when you have guests like Denzel Washington, Whoopee Goldberg, and Jamie Dornan, all A-listers. But the host is absolutely brilliant at gelling the whole show together and getting the best out of stars who can occasionally be a bit too much in love with themselves. Anyway, if I am still in the land of the living next Valentine’s weekend I most definitely won’t be watching the Late Late Show.

An ever-changing world!

I’m heading off to work on Saturday morning in the still trusty old Almera, which has changed shape ever so slightly over the Christmas after mysteriously taking off in the middle of the night and reversing itself into a tree in the garden.

  Thankfully the tree stopped its gallop and apart from a taillight that has seen better days and a dint or two on the back, you wouldn’t know anything happened at all.

  Anyway off I go on the road which, being Saturday, is strangely deserted and is pretty slippy after a hard night’s frost. But what grabs my attention the most is the sun. Yes, it’s only the beginning of February and at that early hour the sun is so blinding it’s nearly dangerous to drive and it makes me wonder about all the talk there is about the ozone layer and global warming and I realise that whatever the causes are, our weather is definitely changing and the seasons are no longer so easily defined.

  Another example is the fact that for the second year in a row, the daffodils are out for a while in places and even though we still like to give out about the weather, the truth is we have had hardly any rain since the month of October.

  But I suppose it’s an ever-changing world that we live in and we simply have to move with the times and on Sunday, as I listened to the Gospel according to Matthew at Mass in Kilbegnet Church, amongst other ridiculous and outdated things said was ‘and anyone who marries a divorced woman commits adultery’!

  I realised how far the much-maligned Catholic Church has moved on over the last number of years. Thankfully there is a more enlightened view taken on a lot of matters nowadays, although why there is no move on having women priests is still baffling to me. As male vocations get less and less, surely the day will come that some of our ladies will be ordained.

Cold comfort for Rossies

On now to sporting matters, and I had half considered going to the Hyde on Sunday until I stuck my head outside the door and until Noel Hanley said to me outside Mass that you would get pneumonia in the stand. And so I watched the deferred highlights on the telly and it was a game I really enjoyed, and one that the Rossies should have won.

  They have not had any luck at all in their two games so far, but from what I’ve seen, they are coming on quite well and are still capable of keeping their place in the top tier. As for the Noel Hanley prediction, I heard Joe Finnegan confirming on his show this morning that it was absolutely perishing in the stand and would do what we have always been told it would, to a brass monkey. Joe didn’t say that – that was me.

All the best to Martina…

Finally, back to the times we live in and of all the changes that came my way, one of the biggest was brought about by Martina here in the People, when she cajoled, persuaded, and pleaded with me to send this piece in by email. After years she succeeded, and for the last few months, each week I have electronically forwarded my thoughts in the new way, and for Martina it was, while not a delight, a good deal easier than it had been for the last number of years when my bad handwriting, bad spelling, and terrible grammar almost drove her to distraction.

  And so just when I thought I had it all sorted, along comes the news that Martina is leaving this week, to take up a post with the HSE in Galway, and I for one will miss her greatly. She was a huge help to me, put up with an awful lot of grief and was always good craic and in good humour. Thanks Martina for everything, and here’s to a great career in your new surroundings.

Till next week, bye for now