Councillor's careless talk of retribution in the not so wild west
As for his most famous role, Pantoliano was more than modest. When Cooper pointed out that Pantoliano won an Emmy for the part, his guest gave a memorable response. “Winning an Emmy is like being the world’s tallest midget,” he chuckled. “Nobody gives a s**t.”
In this instance, Cooper’s demeanour was that of a thrilled fan, which may account for some of his dafter questions, as when he asked how real was The Sopranos’ depiction of the Mafia lifestyle. “I don’t know,” Pantoliano responded indulgently. “You’d have to be in the Mob.” As any sensible person knows, there’s a big difference between imaginary violence and the real thing.
Monday saw Ryan Tubridy (2FM, weekdays) also dealing with a guest’s personal troubles, albeit inadvertantly. His interview with the former footballer Paul McGrath was marked by the expression of downcast sentiments, but aside from the obvious distress one felt at the guest’s private pain, the most notable aspect of the item was its fallout.
Listeners called to express alarm at an apparently troubled man being allowed to air his demons on live radio, prompting Tubridy to pledge that he would call McGrath after the show. The next morning, by which time the interview had become a news story, Tubridy returned to the matter. He talked about his fondness for McGrath and spoke earnestly about calling guests when “sensitivities” were involved.
“That’s what we do, it’s not just the showbiz thing,” he said. “There is another side to it that I’d like to think is the more human element.” He concluded by saying he had phoned McGrath: “I can tell you he’s in great shape.” Tubridy’s concern sounded genuine, his determination to draw a line on the issue seemingly driven by respect for McGrath’s privacy.
But the sad affair also reinforced the impression of Tubridy as a besieged broadcaster not fully in command of his bailiwick. In a show largely composed of blandly inoffensive sequences tangentially dealing with the issues of the day – Tuesday heard the presenter waxing nostalgic about buying CDs with former HMV employees, which was typically affectionate but forgettable – Tubridy needs big-name interviews that grab the audience’s attention. In this ill-judged case, however, he hit the headlines for the wrong reasons and only compounded his dilemma.
Moment of the week A stable diet?
The scandal of horse-infused beefburgers yielded some black comedy on The John Murray Show (RTÉ Radio 1, weekdays), when the host talked to a horsemeat stall owner, Pat Hyland, about equine flesh. Hyland sourced his meat from a specialised slaughterhouse but said he kept some horses on his farm, admitting their fate depended on their workrate: “We’ve one horse called Do or Die.”