Following Rosanna on a race to the bottom
RADIO REVIEW:GIVEN THE SENSE of deflation that descended after last weekend’s disappointing results, it was no surprise that the phones were hopping on Monday as people demanded answers about the high-profile sporting debacle.
Sure enough, the vexed question of Rosanna Davison’s performance in the Women’s Mini Marathon continued to exercise callers on Liveline (RTÉ Radio 1, weekdays), a week after questions were first raised.
For the benefit of those who have been distracted by bagatelles such as collapsing economies, tax-dodging TDs and, yes, Ireland’s Euro 2012 campaign, a hullabaloo has arisen around the former Miss World’s participation in the recent charity fun run, with doubts about Davison’s impressive race time persisting on Liveline. “It’s a story that won’t go away,” said Joe Duffy as he spoke to Carol, a runner who said she had seen Davison join the race from a side street late in the race. Carol wondered how the celebrity posted a time of 43 minutes when she herself had come in at over an hour.
Much argument ensued, but little clarity. There were confusing explanations about time discrepancies attributed to race numbers swapped between Davison and the press officer of the ISPCA, the charity the former beauty queen was running for. Noel Griffin, the ISPCA’s chief executive, was unable to explain the inconsistencies to Duffy, while dutifully standing by Davison’s statement that she had completed the course. “I hope she did run it,” he said. Now there’s a vote of confidence.
Duffy wielded the stiletto on Davison, who had declined invitations to appear on the show. “Rosanna is a good runner, by the way,” Duffy remarked to Kate, one of the race’s top performers. “Did you hear anyone say, God, Rosanna was brilliant today, did you see her flying?” The answer was no. Ouch.
Duffy also displayed his ability to imbue trivial items with import. The mini marathon, he said, was special in that every entrant runs for charity. “Now it seems this was bandwagoned by one particular charity to get photographs,” Duffy said, “and that seems unfair if it does not now stack up.” One caller, Fergal, dissented, wondering how such a topic had rumbled on for so long: “Have we had nothing better to talk about?”
“If you’ve nothing to talk about, Fergal, use your time better somewhere else,” Duffy shot back. Liveline tackles big issues – Wednesday’s show was devoted to life on social welfare – but, as the host’s tetchiness suggested, its popularity also rests on fluffy foundations.