Pat Kenny’s New Politics Show: a cri de coeur
Deaglán de Bréadún
Pat Kenny showed that he can keep a secret. His announcement that he was quitting the Late Late Show to take over the Monday-night politics slot on RTE television caught everyone by surprise.
Although there is bound to be some disappointment among other contenders who would also have been very good at the job, at least it can be said that there is a continuity in terms of quality and high standards between Kenny and Questions and Answers presenter, the excellent John Bowman.
There are intimations that the new show to replace Q&A will have a different format. Please, oh pretty pull-ease, let us see an end to “plants” in the audience. No more of that tedious – and too-easy – guessing-game we engaged in as viewers: Is this guy for real or is he invited as a party or pressure-group representative? Better not to have an invited audience at all in that case.
There is some suggestion of a satirical element. Please, oh pretty pull-ease, no smut or bad language. If a comic writer or comedian cannot make a point and get a laugh without dipping into the toilet, then s/he should be adjudged not up to snuff. It’s not a question of prudery, but a distaste for those who take the easy way out.
Let’s have more rows, please. Nothing draws viewers more than the prospect of a (genuine, unstaged) gladiatorial contest. Two politicians at each other’s throats (metaphorically of course) or a would-be tribune of the people tackling a pompous officeholder can be a joy to behold.
Most of the speculation will now centre on Kenny’s replacement on the Late Late. But we political nerds will be more concerned about our Monday nights and whether we can have something to look forward to with enthusiasm . . . or not.