Category: TV & Radio

Media go quiet as Advent season settles in

The low key arrival of Advent tends to impact mainly on religious programmes. Some of last week’s discussions on The Leap of Faith (RTÉ Radio 1) were particularly topical. Presenter Michael Comyn started with a beautiful Christmas piece by Mendelsohn, and then got into an exploration of attitudes to Advent and Christmas. Fr Desmond O’Donnell…

Would You Believe? returns with impact

If I settle down to Sunday night TV I want something cosy, undemanding, even uplifting, but that’s not how it turned out last weekend. Would You Believe? (RTÉ 1) returned with impact last Sunday night with the first episode in a two-part exploration of the subject of evil. Mick Peelo’s report didn’t contain any blinding…

BBC’s Maze leads to intelligent debate

I’ve long admired the media work of Michael Buerk, and his show The Moral Maze last Saturday on BBC Radio 4 was a most thorough, insightful, and civilised discussion – people were listening to each other! The topic was ‘moral progress’, especially in the light of current Westminster controversies. The format was unusual enough –…

Scabs peeled off Vietnam War once again

Ken Burns has a name for excellent historical documentaries and his current series The Vietnam War (RTÉ and BBC Four, Monday nights) is top notch. There’s a wealth of archive footage, much of it quite harrowing, along with interviews with those involved – ex-soldiers, bereaved parents, and Vietnamese civilians, all from both sides of the…

Hope and reassurance of new RTÉ show

It’s quite a while since I saw a documentary as moving and impressive as Ministry of Hope, RTÉ’s new series on the work of lay chaplains. The programme concentrated on Margaret Sleator in the Mater Hospital, Catherine Black in Shelton Abbey open prison and Philip McKinley, Church of Ireland chaplain at DCU.  Margaret Slater’s work…