Bless me Father for I am a tv tart

Confessions of a channel-hopping cheat

James Spader

James Spader


Bless me Father for I have sinned. It has been a long while since … I watched anything on TG4 other than the Nuacht. I know I should go to TG4 every day. It is not a hard thing to do, switch on the telly and watch things in Irish with the rest of the congregation. But I just haven’t been able to, Father, there are too many other temptations out there now.

I am a Sky Striapach at the moment, a total and utter Sky Striapach. I love Scandal and White Collar and Suits and Banshee – that’s a word in Irish for you! – and The Blacklist. Oh, I love The Blacklist. James Spader is brilliant in that role, going around the place knocking off baddies. (He must be an Irish-speaker with all that anger!)

And I love Richard E.Grant and his wee trips around the world’s hotels and I love all the Star Trek repeats on SyFy and I like Fast n’ Loud and Family Guy. I like it all, Father. I have gone over to the dark side, Father, I worship in English now; I am a tv tart.

I do feel guilty about it. Especially, this week, Father, with TG4 announcing their autumn schedule. There’s some interesting stuff there; original drama, chat shows, insightful documentaries and sport.

I know I should make more of an effort. I want to make more of an effort. I mean, how hard can it be to watch tv in Irish? Right, Father? It’s not as if I have to go out of my way to record things on VHS like back in the bad old days. It’s not as if I have any trouble getting TG4. I used to go to a lot of trouble to go out with TG4.

I was there on the first day of our affair, huddled around a tv set on the Garvaghy Road in Portadown with a group of like-minded swingers. What an orgy of Irish we had that night! We were a cross between the French resistance listening to the Allies broadcasting their messages that signalled the beginning of D-Day and a group of language-loving nymphos who could not wait to rip off all our clothes with the mention of the copula.

Take me, teilifís, take me!

It was good while it lasted but it was never love. Truth be told, I used TG4 as it suited me. I did not feel any great loyalty to her; she was there; I turned her on and off as I pleased. I would rather she was there than not but it was never love. She got a viewer; I got a programme. It was a simple enough transaction without any real feeling on my part. She never really turned me on like mo ghrá geal, Raidió na Gaeltachta.

I do respect TG4 in the morning, Father, I do, honestly. She has kept going, built up a nice profile, a good clientele and given a lot of people some work. That’s a good thing. And those young people who appear on its screen. They are always so happy! Why are they always so happy, Father? What is wrong with them? How can anyone who works in the Irish language be that happy?

It is not natural. Their happiness offends me, Father. All that smiling and being positive. It is not the way I was brought up. Is that why I went off TG4, Father, is it because it is all happy clappy, alleluia! alleluia! born-again Gaeilgeoir and I am just an old-fashioned pre-Vatican II Fenian? I want my Mass in Latin and the only Latin on TG4 is salsa dancing? Is that it, Father?

I will try to do better, Father. I will make more of an effort. What’s my penance? Three episodes of Cogar and a season of Corp + Anam?

Ok, Father. I will do my best. But if they clash with The Blacklist

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