Daniel O’Donnell: “I think whether somebody likes my music or not they look up and say, ‘Well, that fecker up there is having a ball.’”  Photograph: Dave Meehan

Patrick Freyne meets the singer and the fans who would ‘smother their mother’ for him

Peter Capaldi and Pearl Mackie  in the new series of Dr Who. Photograph: BBC

The Doctor encounters a cosmic puddle in need of help – and then the Daleks roll up

The Dubliners members John Sheahan Kenna, Barney McKenna, Eamonn Campbell and Ronnie Drew in the Shelbourne Hotel in 1992. Photograph: Pat Langan

Former owner of O’Donoghue’s pub Dessie Hynes recalls other Good Fridays

Donal’s Lottery Island: no sign of an insurgency

You can learn a lot reading between the lines during the telly ad breaks

In 1998 transgender singer Dana International won the competition for Israel with her song ‘Diva’. Photograph: Peter Bischoff/Getty Images

Russia and Ukraine are not the only countries with form when it comes to Eurovision controvery

 Gavin Duffy, Eleanor McEvoy, Alison Cowzer, Chanelle McCoy and Barry O’Sullivan from the new series of Dragon’s Den. Photograph: RTÉ/Ruth Medjber

Nowadays, it has all the pizzazz of a business studies course and could be plausibly renamed Rich People Doing Sums

Paul Brady: will join a formerly homeless man, Danny Bracken, on stage at Rock against Homelessness. Photograph: Cyril Byrne

Of Ireland’s more than 7,000 homeless people about one-third are children

Danny Bracken, a musician who is homeless, will be playing at Rock Against Homelessness concert in Dublin on April 7th. Photograph: Dara Mac Dónaill

Homeless musician Danny Bracken to join stars for Rock Against Homelessness

A lot in common: Mrs Brown and RuPaul. Photographs:  Graeme Hunter/Logo TV

All Round to Mrs Brown's is the kind of programme it's possible to love and hate at the same time

Piers Morgan and Nigel Farage: a pink sycophantic hippo-thing coaxing gibberish from the wide zip-like mouth of a yellow, goggle-eyed wonk

Patrick Freyne: Zippy flaps his muppety head in rage when George brings up UKIP’s racist and homophobic views

Julia, a character with autism, will make her Sesame Street debut on April 10th, on both PBS and HBO. Photograph: Zach Hyman/Sesame Workshop via AP

Through new character, children will learn not to be frightened by certain behaviour

The  Alcor Life Extension Foundation, which stores “cephalons”, or frozen heads and other body parts, ready for hopeful reanimation. Photograph: Laura Segall/New YorkTimes

Mark O’Connell has spent several years talking to people who want to live through robots and technology, and he admits it stems fr(...)

Nephews of former Bishop of Galway Eamonn Casey carry his coffin to the crypt at Galway cathedral on Thursday. Photograph: Joe O’Shaughnessy

Former bishop’s good works remembered before burial in Galway cathedral crypt

Celina and Ben tie the know in Ikea.  ‘Don’t Tell The Bride’. Photograph: RTE

Patrick Freyne: Who thinks getting married in Ikea is a good idea? This groom-to-be does...

The Ryan Gosling ‘lookalike’

A less-than-convincing Gosling ‘lookalike’ accepted an award for La La Land. Germany was not amused

Pure filth: Daniel and Majella’s ‘B&B Road Trip’. Photograph: RTÉ

Majella and Daniel O’Donnell’s B&B Road Trip has returned, this time on RTÉ

 A pedestrian crossing signal in Melbourne, Australia. Ten such lights are being installed to address unconscious gender bias. Photograph: Stefan Postles/Getty Images

There are music and comedy events, a march and a strike in Ireland on International Women’s Day

 Mobilised:  Irish protest was galvanised by the campaign against water charges. Photograph: Mart Klein/Ikon/Getty

Populism – the set of ideologies that has given the world Donald Trump, Brexit and Marine Le Pen – has transformed the politics of(...)

‘Action historian’ Dan Snow presents 1066: A Year to Conquer England: “Next week he will probably explore what it feels like to hunt and kill a man.”

From Dan Snow in 1066 to the Nazis in SSGB and beyond – say ’Allo ’Allo to the history of Great Britain in five TV shows

There is no legal requirement for employers to test  for intoxicants – or for employees to submit to such tests. Photograph: Getty Images

Workplaces are less tolerant of drinking, but it is hard to prove an employee is intoxicated

Lena Dunham: Girls was cursed with importance. As its importance wanes, we can stop wondering about the significance of each detail

Lena Dunham’s Girls, complete with uneroticised nudity, awkward sex and millennial angst, is back

Care-system kid: “It’s scary,” Jasmine Mooney says, “the idea of living on your own without a ma and da.” Photograph: Dara Mac Dónaill Jasmine Mooney recalls sitting in social workers’ offices for hours as they tried finding a home for her. Photograph: Dara Mac Dónaill

Six people who grew up in State care in Ireland talk about the challenges of their childhoods and early-adult lives

 Mark Zuckerberg: ‘an important man who owns many, many tight-fitting t-shirts and, more than likely, your personal data’.   Photograph: Kevin Mazur/Getty Images for Facebook

Patrick Freyne’s alternative reading of Mark Zuckerberg’s 5,700-word Facebook post – aka his Marknifesto

On the clock:  Corey Hawkins as terrorist hunter Eric Carter in 24: Legacy

Missed the return of the ludicrous real-time, terrorist-chasing torture romp? Here is Patrick Freyne’s breathless minute-by-minute(...)

Donald Trump: always the most treasured object in the room. Photograph: Spencer Platt/Getty Images

Patrick Freyne enters the parallel universe of the US president via TV3’s bizarre TV special ‘Trump in His Own Words’

Gogglebox Ireland: Danielle, Laura and Des Grufferty in front of the tiny cameras. Photograph: Brenda Fitzsimons

Patrick Freyne spends a day on the set of the hit fly-on-the-wall series, to see what makes it tick

John Boyne: “I came out when I was 22, but . . . it would have taken me a while of knowing someone before I could confide in them something that I would have seen as slightly shameful and embarrassing.”

The prolific novelist tells Patrick Freyne about being gay in pre-marriage referendum Ireland – and how the success of ‘The Boy in(...)

Family support groups gather for a minute’s silence during the 18th Service of Commemoration and Hope at Our Lady of Lourdes Church in Sean McDermott Street, Dublin. Photograph: Brenda Fitzsimons

Drug deaths: Almost all the families at a commemoration in Dublin have lost loved ones to drugs

Dermot Bannon and Lisa O’Brien. Lisa  likens herself to “a nodding dog” when listening to Dermot

When I hear 'a decade of Room to Improve' I picture devout families kneeling around the TV

Mumblecore: Stephen Graham and Tom Hardy in Taboo

Taboo’s a complicated man and nobody understands him but his woman, who’s also his sister. Herself is up to her old tricks. And Co(...)

Speaking of big hands, Donald Trump has massive hands like tennis rackets or an elephant’s feet. His nickname is Donald “Big Hands” Trump around these parts

Kellyanne Conway and Sean Spicer from Trump’s inner circle are full of “alternative facts”. Patrick Freyne lists a few more (...)

Barack Obama as he is sworn in on January 20th, 2009, as US president, on the same Bible used to swear in Abraham Lincoln. Photograph: Tim Sloan/AFP/Getty Abraham Lincoln: the 16th president of the United States

Patrick Freyne looks at how US presidents have been sworn in across the centuries

Claire Danes as Carrie Mathison in Homeland. Photograph: Jo Jo Whilden/SHOWTIME

Homeland has returned but thanks to a certain president-elect, reality is making its political fictions seem a bit quaint

Brendan Courtney: “I think the current government would really do well in the polls if they could effect change in the health system because people are really wringing their hands now.” Photograph: RTÉ

Designer talks about documentary 'We Need to Talk About Dad' which highlighted 'anger' over Fair Deal scheme

Pendulum summit speaker Bill Cullen at the National Convention Centre. Photograph: Eric Luke

At Frankie Sheahan’s summit in Dublin, thousands of people in suits pay hundreds of euro to empower themselves

Why are they doing this? Why does the birdy sing? Why does the lion roar? Jedward enter the Big Brother House: Photograph: Channel 5

As they make a mockery of the other contestants in the Big Brother house, I find my heart swelling with national pride

Corey Hawkins in 24: Legacy: his mission is to torture  pesky terrorists out of destroying Our Way of Life ™. Photograph:  Ray Mickshaw/Fox

From the end of childhood (and possibly RTÉ) to the terrible hatching of a glowing orange homunculus, television is going to be g(...)

 Chelsea Pensioners arrive to cast their votes in the EU referendum  in London in June. Photograph: Tolga Akmen/Anadolu Agency/Getty Images

The week the United Kingdom voted for Brexit in June 2016, our reporter travelled from Wales to London, talking to voters. Here a(...)

Daniel Clowes’s graphic novel Patience,  a  time-travelling rumination on love, bereavement and obsession.

Culture review 2016: Misogyny, classism and racism were all still evident on our television screens

Our Lady’s Hospice: Michael B McAuley with Dr Stephen Higgins. Photograph: Cyril Byrne

There are many kinds of patients at Our Lady’s Hospice. Some have their funerals all planned. Others are in ‘absolute denial’. And(...)

To whom it concerns: Blindboy Boatclub on the Late Late

It was a year of extraordinary events, shock departures, even more shocking arrivals, and loads of stuff that just wasn’t funny - (...)

Patrick Freyne meets Docter Noel Zone, a level 5 dangerologist. Illustration: Chris Judge

Patrick Freyne nabs a rare interview with the famous dangerologist. His advice for a safe season? ‘Make sure your Christmas stocki(...)

Attacked: “The child pulled me to the ground, then kicked me in the stomach until my colleague helped me away on my hands and knees.” Illustration: Imagezoo/Getty

As workers at a child-detention centre prepare to strike, social care workers describe the attacks and trauma that are seen as ‘p(...)

The eyes have it: Patrick Freyne dressing as a panto dame at the Tivoli Theatre. Photograph: Eric Luke

I am being turned into a panto dame by Sammy Sausages of the Tivoli Theatre

Bosco: “Uafásach . . . Even the dogs on the street know it’s uafásach”

Worried by RTÉ’s cessation of children’s TV production, I look back at the kids shows that shaped the man I am today. Who, now, wi(...)

Al Porter at his family home in Tallaght: “You listen to Abba’s ‘Super Trooper’ and think that’s a bit of craic. And then you listen to the lyrics and go ‘that’s a f**king heavy song’.” Photograph: Bryan O’Brien

A stand-up who has seen the darkness talks frankly about depression, sexuality and class

Ryan Tubridy takes aim. Photograph: Alan Betson / The Irish Times

Accept no substitutes, especially those made by TV3 – The Toy Show is the alpha and omega of Irish culture

 Rough sleepers in their tent at the Gaiety Theatre in Dublin. Photograph: Nick Bradshaw

Rough sleepers deal with death, illness, violence and humiliation day in, day out

John Lewis foxes - better get off that trampoline

It’s that time of year again when TV ads pull out all the stops and sentimentally bludgeon us till we cry, rage and (hopefully) go(...)

Ryan Tubridy with the RTÉ board

Patrick Freyne: This promo for the December 2nd show seems to be based on a recurring nightmare Ryan Tubridy has

  Street artist and print maker Maser: “[Graffiti] was a sociable thing. You were out with your friends. You got to explore the city and it was a rebellious thing”. Photograph: Eric Luke

Having earned his stripes with political murals, the street artist is taking to the garret

Scarlett Moffatt and the chin of Larry Lamb, two standout contestants on this year’s I’m A Celebrity Get Me Out of Here

In the nick of time, Ant & Dec return to pointlessly torture celebs for our pleasure and distraction

Shane Griffin: “We’d have the money to buy sweets so we wouldn’t be going to school on an empty stomach.”  Photograph: Brenda Fitzsimons

Shane Griffin grew up in residential units and in foster care. Now he’s investigating his own past by seeking access to dozens of (...)

 Sir Roger Moore: Why does he always insist he wasn’t a great actor when people ask about his films? “Well, I’ve seen them, you see.”  Photograph: Cyril Byrne

The ex-007 talks movies, marriages and how Aidan Turner would look good as Bond

US president-elect Donald Trump speaks at his election night rally in Manhattan. Patrick Freyne takes us through the unthinkable as it happened. Photograph: Reuters

A misogynistic racist liar has defeated all predictions to become president of the US

This week, RTÉ showed us the calibre of individuals who should rightfully be leading us... and gave us a portrait of Enda Kenny (...)

Smashïe, not nicey: Jeffrey Dean Morgan as Negan in The Walking Dead. Photograph: Gene Page/AMC

Spoiler alert: Series seven has begun and we now know who Negan killed – but did he go too far? Has the series gone too far?

Walking and looming: Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump during the second US  presidential debate. Photograph: Doug Mills/The New York Times

Watching Donald Trump debate Hillary Clinton is like watching the last 25 minutes of Fight Club - and not at all like that film a(...)

Broadcaster Pat Kenny has received a lifetime achievement award last night from the Irish Film and Television Academy. Photograph: Barry McCall

As he gets an IFTA lifetime achievement award, Pat Kenny talks about work, fame and being an underdog again

What is love? James Marsden and Evan Rachel Wood in Sky Atlantic’s new sci-fi series Westworld. Photograph: HBO

The robots in Sky Atlantic’s new sci-fi thriller want to bring the love, unlike the Baby Animals on BBC1, who are just bastards (...)

Psychotherapist Ray O’Neill: “You’re not supposed to analyse masculinity.”

How to Be a Man: Now more than ever, who we are is not a matter of X or Y chromosomes

Ronan Brady performing his GAA striptease act in fringe show RIOT. Photograph: Fiona Morgan

How to be a Man: Patrick Freyne talks to Ronan Brady, Roscommon GAA footballer turned acrobat star of recent Dublin Fringe product(...)

Peter McVerry at the launch of the Jesuit Centre for Faith and Justice’s report “Developing inside: transforming prison for young adults”. Photograph: Nick Bradshaw

How to be a Man: Patrick Freyne talks to the social justice campaigner about gender equality, masculinity and the masks we wear

Answer the question. Illustration: iStock

How to be a Man: Quizmaster Patrick Freyne has the answers to all your problems...

 Stephen Donnelly at his constituency office in Greystones, Wicklow: I’m a  proud feminist. Feminism to me is  a no-brainer.   Photograph Nick Bradshaw

How to be a Man: Patrick Freyne talks to the Independent TD about gender diversity, parenting, digging potatoes and feminism

O say can you see: Donald Trump´ during the first presidential debate at Hofstra University in Hempstead, New York on September 26th, 2016. / AFP PHOTO / Jewel SAMADJEWEL SAMAD/AFP/Getty Images

The final season of ‘America’ began on Monday night, and the sense of apocalyptic dread was palpable right from the off

Matt Cooper: It became  obvious  to me that there was no difference between men and women when you’re working with good talented people

How to be a Man: Patrick Freyne talks to the Today FM broadcaster about fighting, housework, crying and his new puppy

 Comedian Al Porter  at his home in Tallaght, Dublin. Photograph: Bryan O’Brien

How to be a Man: Patrick Freyne talks to comedian Al Porter about being the son of a sergeant, growing up gay and what it means to(...)

’Everyone looks back at their own time and thinks that their age was better, but I actually think [my generation]went through a fairly privileged time… That first wave of feminism was really, really liberating.’  Photograph: Alan Betson

How to be a Man: Patrick Freyne talks to The Irish Times columnist about boyhood, feminism and balancing family and work life

The feminist movement has opened an awful lot of avenues for discussion. Men have to go ‘right lads, we have to have a bit of a chat here as well.’ I think some men feel ‘We’ve nothing to discuss. Everything’s great.’ It’s not. Masculinity is all over the place. Photograph: Dara Mac Donaill

How to be a Man: Patrick Freyne talked to Niall Breslin (Bressie) about masculinity, crying and the pressure

Edward Allen and Les Hanbridge from Wicklow, compete in the Special Horse Class on the last day of the National Ploughing Championships in Screggan, Tullamore, Co Offaly. Photograph: Alan Betson

Dancing in the mud and high fives at the entrance are part of last-day high spirits

 Cliffhangers: Michael Landes and Ophelia Lovibond in Sky One’s Hooten & the Lady

Hooten & the Lady is filled with nostalgia for the good old days, when stealing golden monkey skulls from spear-waving tribesfolk(...)

Can’t Cope, Won’t Cope: Stefanie Preissner. Photograph: Dara Mac Dónaill

2016 Revisited: Too much TV glamorises ‘going out for the night, having sex with people, then dissecting it the next day over avoc(...)

Back when once a week was often enough, our TV screens were filled with stunt-men, novelists, fugitives, sexy millionaires and ast(...)

Fans of TV3’s Red Rock have been waiting all summer to find out who killed Brian McGonigle, played by Sean Mahon.

As TV3’s hit soap returns to reveal who killed its principal baddy, its creators talk about the show, its future and keeping the(...)

Mischievous and  brooding: Aidan Turner and Eleanor Tomlinson in Poldark. Photograph: BBC Pictures

Handsome, wilful, charismatic, brooding, honourable, frequently shirtless... why, oh why, is everyone so obsessed with this Poldar(...)

There are also people dressed as policemen monitoring the drunkenness of festival goers. These are not real policemen. Photograph: Dave Meehan/The Irish Times

Patrick Freyne on the final, smiling day of Electric Picnic

Helena Daly from Co Mayo, Emma Ryan from Co Sligo, Jessica Murphy from Co Clare, and Sarah Murphy from Co Cork at Electric Picnic. Photograph: Alan Betson/The Irish Times

Thousands wander around looking hungunder while under Drunk Police surveillance

Author Roald Dahl (1916 - 1995), born in Wales of Norwegian parentage. Photograph by Dumant/Getty Images

In the early days, he was a lone anarchist on a rampage and there were angry letters from librarians, but we learned to love his s(...)

Botton’s up: X-Factor judge Nicole Scherzinger

In search of the meaning of life/pop music, Patrick Freyne stumbles through the wastelands of X Factor and the VMAs

Sue, the passive aggressive pig in Vodafone’s ad

Advertisements replace my recurring anxieties about death with impulses to buy stuff. Here are some of my favourites from the rece(...)

The writer of political sitcom Yes, Minister, Antony Jay, recalls in a 2013 interview the series’ devastating dissections of polic(...)

Take a walk through a history of Irish festivals, from mass and Feile to the Beat on the Street

Rose of Tralee contestants march in the St Patrick’s Day Parade in New York City.

2016 Revisited: The Roses' job is to float around smiling and wearing a sash, which resembles a bandolier

Freefall: Self-employed people are not entitled to jobseeker’s benefit or the illness or disability payments that many of us take for granted. Illustration: Zack Blanton/Getty

Rose, Joe, Jean and Gerard all worked for themselves. When the recession hit they had nothing to fall back on. Are things about to(...)

Shepherdess Caroline from the Channel 4 series Eden

The slow-moving ‘Eden’ is actually harmless enough - but is also a reminder that the colonisation of Ireland began as reality-TV s(...)

Patrick Freyne in the Phoenix Park (the dosser). Photograph: Cyril Byrne

Work-life balance is the booby prize God gives to people who are failing

“We’re like sardines in a can”: Claire’s hotel room, drawn by her son

More than 1,000 homeless families live in single rooms in hotels and B&Bs. Some of them tell us about daily life.

A beleaguered genius or  a self-satisfied comment section hit by lightning and come to life? Rami Malek in Mr Robot. Photograph: Amazon Instant Video

As the hit US conspiracy show finally arrives on Irish screens, Patrick Freyne dons his wrinkliest tin-foil hat...

Familiar and cosy: Saturday Night with Miriam. Photograph: RTÉ

Tubridy and D’Arcy, weak from their eternal struggle, have retreated and the the queen of midsummer chat is back to rule over mid(...)

Friends and flatmates Jon and Laura in the one-off documentary Life Stripped Bare. Photograph: Channel 4

Three households are stripped of everything they possess to find out what makes them happy. It turns out what they really need is (...)

 Brexit campaigners: “The Leave campaign’s often dubious messages resonated with people more than Remain’s abstract economic reasoning – where even Remain voters parroted debunked claims that EU membership costs the UK £350 million a week.”

Leave supporters were, for the most part, not triumphalist. If anything, they were fatalistic, angry and unenthusiastic

 Patrick Grant, Esme Young and Claudia Winkelman from the BBC series The Great British Sewing Bee

The Great British Sewing Bee exhibits the best of British values; meanwhile, on a visit to Kerry, Top Gear doesn’t

Protesters in  Parliament Square in London at Brexit vote. Photograph:  Matt Cardy/Getty Images

Protesters gather in front of UK Houses of Parliament under a banner declaring ‘Fuck Brexit’

Luther Ward and Tommy End  during their wrestling match at the Over the Top Wrestling event held in the Tivoli Theatre, Dublin recently. Photograph: Aidan Crawley

Skulduggery and athletic prowess make for a heady mix at this ‘pantomime for grown ups’

Traders from BGC, a global brokerage company in London’s Canary Wharf financial centre, react during trading  after Britain voted to leave the European Union. Photograph: Russell Boyce/Reuters

‘It’s an opportunity to make loads of money. Or to lose a lot of money.’

Ukip leader Nigel Farage  delivering an anti-EU speech ahead of the vote. Photograph: Niklas Halle’n/AFP/Getty Images

Others lament ‘stupidness’ of poll: ‘It shouldn’t have come down to a cheap vote’

Metteo Impelliccieri and Alessio Gagliardi. The two young Italian men seemed incredulous that the UK would ever leave the EU.

Pros and cons of ‘foreigners’ the main topic on referendum day in former Irish heartland

A pop-up “Brexit Tattoos” shop offers satirical anti-EU  tattoos for free, in central London. Photograph: Justin Tallis/AFP/Getty Images

According to Brexiters, unlike gazelles and zebras, the UK is better off going it alone

Bang! The Rubberbandits Guide to 1916 on RTÉ1

From homegrown one-offs to Netflix originals, it’s shaping up to be a good year for great TV

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