Jim Carroll

Music, Life and everything else

Banter at the Electric Picnic: Radio Ireland

Just what is the national obsession with talk radio all about?

Tue, Aug 20, 2013, 09:18


Banter is still out on the road for the summer. After visits to the Kilkenny Arts Festival (we had a blast hosting great talks on music, fashion, the arts, campaigning and political reform in the Marble City over the last 10 days, though people were kind of touchy whenever anyone mentioned hurling for some reason), the Kinsale Arts Festival (we’re heading back to west Cork for more Bantering in October) and the Gaze Film Festival, our next stop will be in Stradbally, Co Laois for a pow-wow at the Electric Picnic on Sunday September 1.

That’s the day before Pat Kenny and Sean O’Rourke take to the airwaves to do battle for mid-morning radio listeners in Ireland. As we’ve seen from the shenanigans around Kenny’s transfer (unlike Real Madrid at the time of writing with Gareth Bale, Denis O’Brien got his man) and RTE’s robust response with O’Rourke, talk radio is big news and big business in Ireland.

Given that both presenters are unavailable to talk to us on the day – both will be at home making their sandwiches and preparing their opening lines when we take to the stage – we’ve gathered a panel of other interested parties to look at the state of the Irish talk radio nation and the national obsession with people talking about stuff on the wireless. Who’s going to win this much touted match-up? Where’s local radio in all of this? And why do Irish people love talk radio so much?

The radioheads: Miriam O’Callaghan (RTE Radio One), Mick Heaney (Irish Times radio reviewer), Caroline Clarke (producer of the Moncrieff show on Newstalk) and John Purcell (chairman of Independent Broadcasters of Ireland, CEO KCLR 96FM and director of Newstalk). Banter’s Joe Duffy: myself

Radio Ireland takes place on the Leviathan stage at Mindfield at the Electric Picnic on Sunday September 1 at 5.30pm.

Big thanks to Mindfield big kahoona Naoise Nunn for the invite.

Banter in September: we’ll be heading to the CultureTECH festival in Derry and launching our Living for the City autumn/winter season at the Twisted Pepper.