Paul Healy’s Week


Credit to Ms Binns

I was grateful tonight for my presumably odd tendency to sometimes read the closing credits of movies/other programmes as they appear on screen (then disappear as quickly). Prompted by some inexplicable interest, I’ll stay focussed: from Director and leading actors, down through First Assistant and Assistant to First Assistant, through Costume Designer, to ‘Maltida’s brother’ and ‘Man at gas station’ and ‘Cop Number 4’.

Late tonight, as we watched ‘Collateral’ on Netflix, I briefly snoozed (it being Thursday night). I woke to the rolling credits, and am now indebted to some assistant to some assistant, whose surname was ‘Binns’. Bin night! The reminder was welcome, although I know some family member would have put our bins out, or mentioned it to me.

By the way, amongst the mundane little things that make up our lives, is there any greater terror than the fear of Forgetting To Put The Bins Out?



Different strokes for…

(Most) English sports fans this weekend: “This is unbearable! The tension! Sporting drama at its best! The Ashes!”

(Most) Irish sports fans this weekend: “There’s nothing on after the hurling…”



Stars in their eyes

A headline in today’s Sunday Independent caught my eye.

‘We saw a bus-sized metallic object in sky’.

At first, I thought it might be an extract from the evidence of RTE executives at one of those Oireachtas hearings.

Were they claiming that the entire board of RTE had been kidnapped by aliens, and replaced by more aliens, with no knowledge of how to run a major broadcasting organisation? Or was it a new delivery from Renault for Marty Morrissey?

It turned out to be a report about an alleged UFO sighting in Co. Roscommon in 1997. We have the story on page 8.



Hidden TV gems

For people who like TV/pop culture nostalgia, some gems can be found on the more ‘obscure’ channels, away from the mainstream ones and the popular streaming services. Obviously Netflix & Co often produce fine documentaries on people and events from the past (I hear good reports about Wham! on Netflix), but I’d like to give an entirely random mention to some old favourites/idiosyncratic delights that can be found ‘off centre’ when scrolling through the multiple TV options now available.

Gold, Sky Documentaries, Sky Arts, BBC 4, even Dave, are some of the channels which are home to a disparate ‘cast’ of sitcoms from yesteryear, classic concerts, tributes to shows and stars who shone brightly in our youth, documentaries too. Some of these are hidden gems, nostalgia TV at its best!

On BBC 4 recently, I came upon ‘Kate Bush: Sensual World’ which featured a rare interview (from 1989) with the stunningly original Wuthering Heights singer. Bush is now back in vogue because her hit ‘Running Up That Hill’ featured in the recently released Netflix series, Stranger Things. This old interview (with concert footage) reminded me of what a brilliant artist she is.

Shot in 1983, ‘Comic Roots: Kenneth Williams’ is a charming trip back to a bygone era in which the actor revisited areas of London where he grew up, including spending a night singing some old favourites in a working class pub he used to frequent.

‘George Carlin: American Dream’ is a fine documentary on the late, great comedian. ‘Tales of the Unexpected’ and ‘Alfred Hitchcock Presents’ are usually charming at the very least, often brilliant. The fact that the Alfred Hitchcock half-hour mystery thrillers are now extremely dated is part of their charm!

For sitcom fans, there’s always the option of spending a half an hour or so with reruns of Only Fools and Horses, Blackadder, or the gentle and evocative Last of the Summer Wine. (More recommendations in future issues).



Player ratings

Today, there was a big match between Team Ryan/Noel and the Oireachtas Heavies. A classic, it went to extra-time; it’s not clear yet if there will be penalties (imposed). Here’s how they rated…


RYAN ‘TOY MAN’ TUBS: Elusive and quick, this er, expensive…signing started at a ferocious pace, punching holes in the RTE defence. Looked unplayable in the early stages, but eventually lost his way and was visibly tiring long before the final whistle.

NOEL ‘STUDS’ KELLY: A modern-day version of John Giles/Nobby Stiles, tough-tackling Kelly provided staunch defence all afternoon, very much trusting in ‘the process’. However, he too began to wane as the game went on and was lucky not to be carded for some of his more bizarre challenges.

IMELDA ‘ENFORCER’ MUNSTER: The TD emerged in recent weeks as a ferocious tackler in the mould of Roy Keane. Was aggressive again today but seemed a touch overawed when directly marking ‘Big Ryan’.

ALAN ‘TOP DOG’ KELLY: This super-confident performer continues to strut around as if he is still team captain (he isn’t).

VERONA ‘AH COME ON NOW’ MURPHY: The Independent TD was effective at times, but as usual Verona wandered all over the ‘pitch’.

ALAN ‘GRAFTER’ DILLON: Another impressive outing by the former Mayo footballer turned TD who reminded all of his clever positional awareness and steely determination.

MATTIE ‘MAULER’ McGRATH: Should have been subbed off the moment he made it clear he had been socialising with the opposition (Tubridy) in the green room before the game. Totally erratic, unpredictable player.

SHANE ‘HITMAN’ CASSELLS: Top scorer on the day, the steely senator caused all sorts of problems for Team Ryan/Noel, attacking aggressively from the outset.

PETER ‘PUNCHY’ FITZPATRICK: Presumed to have wandered on to the wrong pitch in the wrong venue at the wrong time (with the wrong questions