Category: TV & Radio

Life matches drama a little too closely

The sense of dread that came over me when Donald Trump was elected President of the USA was heightened considerably last week. There were silly tweets from him about launching missiles “nice, new and smart”, after the reported gas attacks near Damascus. In a sleepless moment last Friday night, on an extended Newsroom programme (BBC…

Little revealed in C4’s ‘new evidence’

Religious programmes are pretty scarce on Channel 4, so when one pops up on a prime time slot you tend to take notice. Jesus’ Female Disciples: The New Evidence last Sunday night, was rather full of its own importance with claims of rewriting early Christian history, of “explosive” new evidence, “overturning centuries of Christian thought”,…

Political tensions are nothing new, then

The Holy Week and Easter season usually sees a considerable increase in religious programming and this year was particularly good. There were the old reliables like The Robe (BBC2) and Jesus of Nazareth (Sky Arts, and still impressive), but I like to look out for something different. One of the most high profile and innovative…

No hardship watching pilgrims reveal all

St Patrick’s weekend brought a flurry of snow and religious programmes of varying quality, some related to the feast day, some not. On the Friday, BBC2 launched a new series, Pilgrimage – The Road to Santiago, featuring a bunch of celebrities doing sections of the Camino pilgrimage over a few weeks. It was enjoyable, took…

Court decision is a bonanza for chat shows

On Tuesday night of last week the Catholic Bishops made a significant intervention in the Eighth Amendment debate, issuing a humane and measured statement. On the Nine News (RTE 1) that night, Archbishop Eamon Martin expressed dismay that the right to life of unborn children could be “obliterated” from the Constitution. On Wednesday’s Morning Ireland…

‘Beast from the east’ was well covered

I could hardly write this column without reference to last week’s weather event.  It dominated media news and current affairs, perhaps to an excessive degree. I certainly thought it was going over the top when it was prominent on Claire Byrne Live, as far back as last Monday night, and until the snow actually arrived much…

Some interesting new dramas dominate

We’re well used to TV dramas scheduled for one episode per week, and in these days of box set binging (even if the ‘box’ is often virtual) it’s a nice kind of anticipation. Last week, however, ITV ran the new drama Trauma for three nights in a row. Tense and intriguing, with several unlikely plot…

Pearls sometimes found in strange places

If you needed something spiritual and relaxing (and don’t we all) I can recommend a good show this week. I rarely watch BBC Alba, but I enjoyed their religious music show Alleluia, on Tuesday of last week. It’s a simple format: spiritual songs, with interviews and readings. Of course it’s in Scots Gaelic, which is…