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  • irishtimes.com - Posted: March 28, 2009 @ 6:43 pm

    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.

    • Seán C says:

      Besides the ‘plant’ aspect I also find it irritating when questioners ask about sporting issues. How about leaving post-match analysis to pundits and sports journalists and not giving politicians an opportunity to spout superlatives in place of comparatively serious issues…

    • paul m says:

      Are we to see no end to the gaffe-prone tv alter ego (emphasis on ego) of Pat Kenny?

      The man has proven quite emphatically he is incapable of working TV in the same fashion he does on radio, possibly due to the fact that researchers can’t drop new info on your desk on TV or owing to the live nature of the programne you are forgiven the odd slip-up as he deals with the unpredictable nature of the evolving debate.

      We lose a quality political programme (Q&A) that can often better some of the intentional comedy programnes that are scheduled for that night on RTE 2, and RTE sees fit to replace it and alienate a loyal core audience with the ramblings of someone who is capable of making more politically-insensitive remarks than Conor ‘stick to the kebabs’ Lenihan.

      Back to the radio mic with you Mr Kenny where you belong. Surely there are far better presenters with political savvy and a wry comment out there?

    • Dan Sullivan says:

      Paul M, Pat Kenny prior to moving into light entertainment (I’m aware of many lights who found him entertaining) was an excellent reporter/presenter/interviewer on Today Tonight (what Prime Time is now). He was a major loss in that area though given the money available for the Late Late one can hardly blame the man for going for the greater reward.

      His lesson should be to not try and be light but be serious and considered. And please don’t let him try and be Jon Stewart.

    • anger o haughney says:

      At last Pat leaves the Late Late,; there is hope for humanity. Under his tenure it descended into interviewing tenth-rate British bimbo fluff, and the awful sight of Kenny pretending to be interested in it, asking stupid questions on a plastic phone while fingering wads of cash and using his science degree UCD circa 1974 to sound know-all and patronising, even on the Toy Show to the tiny tots. No,Thank God it’s over. Bring on Ryan Tubridy, the clone of Byrne, at least he has intelligence and personality. I dread to think of Pat’s new show. Is he going to try to stamp his world-view on all and sundry while airing forever his pet obsession, global warming denial and flipping Biomass, if I hear another Biomass loon on his radio show again, I think I will join the harrykrishnas

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