6.30pm – 7.30pm Room to Improve
Patrick Freyne & Dermot Bannon
“On every episode of Room to Improve, Dermot Bannon goes into battle with the plain people of Ireland in the cause of justice and light. Mainly light, to be honest”. Those are the words of Patrick Freyne, the award-winning Irish Times columnist who once described Bannon as his most potent muse. “In his philosophy, there’s nothing that can’t be fixed by turning a wall into a window. He’d build all of his houses from windows if he could. The man is a martyr to big windows.” Who knows what will happen when Freyne & Bannon start talking about fuinneoga mòr, pampas grass and outside baths? You won’t want to miss it.
7.45pm – 8.45pm Escaping the Pandession
Denis Staunton & David McWilliams
Ghost Estates. The Pope’s Children. Breakfast Roll Man. David McWilliams has been credited with many phrases in his career as economist, author and Irish Times columnist. His latest is Pandession, the word he coined to describe the financial consequences of the pandemic. “Pandessions might well be the key economic ailment of the 21st century. We need 21st-century ideas, not 20th-century thinking, to get us out of it.” Join Irish Times London Editor Denis Staunton as he quizzes McWilliams about the key points of his pandession escape plan.
9pm-10pm Grown Ups
Róisín Ingle & Marian Keyes
With more than 40m books sold in over 30 languages, the wit, wisdom and singularly Irish craic of Marian Keyes has turned her into an international treasure with novels such as Rachel’s Holiday, This Charming Man and The Break. In her latest book Grown Ups, we meet a sprawling, happy Dublin family desperately trying to keep up appearances while struggling with issues ranging from relationship breakdown to compulsive shopping. Expect wise observations, life lessons from lockdown and some very grownup laughs as Irish Times columnist Róisín Ingle gets personal with Marian Keyes.
6.30pm – 7.30pm Beauty & The Pandemic
Dr Laura Kennedy & Nadine Reid
During times of economic downturn, sales in the beauty sector historically increase in what’s known as the “lipstick effect.” So what beauty products were bringing cheer during Lockdown? How were people managing with grey roots, hair removal and big beards? Just how bad were those home dye-jobs and how happy were we all when the hairdressers, barbers and beauty therapists finally threw open their doors? Irish Times beauty writer and philosopher Dr Laura Kennedy and make-up artist and TV presenter Nadine Reid examine Beauty & The Pandemic.
7.45pm to 8.45pm Normal People
Hugh Linehan & Lenny Abrahamson
“Painful, joyful, gorgeous” read The Irish Times review of the TV adaptation of Sally Rooney’s best-selling novel Normal People. Starring Paul Mescal and Daisy Edgar-Jones as Connell and Marianne it garnered uniformly rave reviews, devoted fans and a classic piece of Liveline radio as listeners got hot under the collar over the sight of naked flesh on the telly. Irish Times Arts Editor Hugh Linehan talks to Oscar nominated director of the series Element Picture’s Lenny Abrahamson about the making of the hit TV series of the year. Expect behind the scenes insights and the answer to one of the burning questions of quarantine: what is the real meaning of Connell’s Chain?
6.30pm – 7.30pm Are You Somebody?
Kathy Sheridan & Anne Enright
Booker prize winner Anne Enright’s latest novel Actress tells the story of Irish theatre legend Kathleen O’Dell as recounted by her daughter Norah as she retraces her mother’s celebrated career uncovering secrets along the way. Irish Times columnist and co-host of The Women’s Podcast Kathy Sheridan talks to Enright about her novel, writing, feminism and Are You Somebody? the extraordinary mid-life memoir by the late Irish Times columnist Nuala O’Faolain. Enright features in Somebody, the upcoming exhibition about the book, curated by June Caldwell, which opens at the Museum of Literature Ireland, MoLI, later this month.
7.45pm – 8.45pm Inside Politics
New Taoiseach, New Government, New Challenges.
New Taoiseach, New Government, New Challenges.
Our panel including members of The Irish Times political team assess the new coalition between Fine Gael, Fianna Fáil and Greens and examine the programme for government. Moderated by Inside Politics host Hugh Linehan they’ll explore the hurdles ahead and ask: are the new coalition up to the task?
9pm -10pm Sporting Giant
Malachy Clerkin & Paul O’Connell
As well as being one of the totemic figures of Irish sport on the field, Paul O'Connell is one of the most engaging interviewees off the pitch. His rugby achievements are legion: 115 test caps for Ireland and the Lions, three Six Nations titles and a Grand Slam in green, two Heineken Cups and three Pro-12 titles in Munster red. Since his retirement in 2016, he has been an articulate commentator on BBC, the go-to voice on their rugby coverage. He talks to Irish Times sports reporter Malachy Clerkin.
6.30pm – 7.30pm How Bad Can A Good Girl Be?
Róisín Ingle & Imelda May
Straight out of Dublin’s Liberties, Imelda Mary Clabby, much better known as Imelda May, started singing at 16 in Dublin venues such as Bruxelles. Her first album No Turning Back was released in 2003 but she made her name after moving to London with the chart topping Love Tattoo. Mayhem followed and then Tribe in 2014, before she left her trademark rockabilly style behind and released the critically acclaimed Life Love Flesh Blood. May has been in Lockdown at her home in England with her young daughter Violet and recently went viral with her anti-racism poem You Don’t Get To Be Irish And Racist. She talks music, activism, family and inspiration with Irish Times columnist and co-host of The Women’s Podcast Róisín Ingle.
7.45pm – 8.45pm Race, Democracy and the American Crisis
Fintan O’Toole & Melody C. Barnes
Melody C. Barnes is an American lawyer and political advisor who was aide and chief counsel to Senator Edward M. Kennedy before later joining Senator Barack Obama's 2008 presidential campaign. Barnes was subsequently appointed director of the Domestic Policy Council by Obama serving in that post from January 2009 to January 2012 when she left the White House. Barnes now teaches law at the University of Virginia and is Co-Director of the Democracy Initiative. Expect a fascinating conversation between Barnes and award-winning Irish Times columnist and author Fintan O’Toole as they delve into recent events in America: Black Lives Matter and police brutality, George Floyd and Donald Trump, civil rights and the American crisis.
9pm - 10pm The Education of an Idealist
Fintan O'Toole & Samantha Power
"Her highly personal and reflective memoir ... is a must-read for anyone who cares about our role in a changing world." That was Barack Obama's verdict on Dubliner Samantha Power's memoir which made the New York Times bestseller list. The former US Ambassador to the United Nations talks to Irish Times columnist and author Fintan O'Toole about her journey from immigrant to war correspondent to the American government and why we need a "clearer eye, a kinder heart, and a more open and civil hand in our politics and daily lives."