Jim Carroll

Music, Life and everything else

Radio Bill

It was Marian Finucane’s sharp intake of breath which made me realise that I wasn’t actually hearing things. Yes, Bill Cullen had really just said that non-national taxi drivers were selling coke to their passengers. It was terrible for the …

Mon, Dec 10, 2007, 09:45

   

It was Marian Finucane’s sharp intake of breath which made me realise that I wasn’t actually hearing things. Yes, Bill Cullen had really just said that non-national taxi drivers were selling coke to their passengers. It was terrible for the regular decent native taxi drivers, Bill droned on as the nation looked at their radios in confusion, because young people weren’t getting into their cabs as a result. Listen back here if you don’t believe me.

Maybe it wasn’t Bill Cullen at all, maybe it was Tom Dunne doing his best Dr Bill impersonation. But no, there was no way you could make up some of the stuff Bill was coming out with yesterday. I didn’t dare switch over to Pearl on Phantom 105.2 or Sam Smyth’s yakathon on Today FM for fear of missing another foot-in-mouth incident.

Most weekends, the Sunday morning talking shops on the radio are as boring as bejaysus because you have the same crew with the same opinions and same prejudices reviewing the same stories from the papers every week. The panels are drawn from the same shallow gene pools: a little Law Library here and some big business there, someone from the general political Venn diagram here and a journalist or two there. There will also be a couple of additional experts on the phone and Sam Smyth always seem able to interrupt Boris Johnson’s Sunday morning. In truth, these panels are insufferably smug, hopelessly unbalanced and rarely interesting, the wireless equivalent of a dull dinner party or a bad college debating society.

Maybe Bill Cullen feels the same way. Surely there is no other way to explain why the businessman and best-selling author felt the need to contribute to every single item in a way which made you feel there was a clanger at the end of the sentence? Fantastic car-crash radio all the same.

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