TV review: the Brits & Des Bishop struggling to find a joke about ‘boring' election

Adele won several awards at the Brits which was notable for the number of Mastercard adverts
Billy Foley

Des Bishop’s Election Special, RTE 2, Monday at 10.30pm

Leaders’ Debate, RTE 1, Tuesday at 9.35pm

I laughed once at Des Bishop’s sit-down routine about the election.

I hadn’t seen the Healy-Rae youtube announcement that the family would run two candidates in Kerry, sitting TD Michael and brother and councillor Danny.

“Like a Kerry IS video,” said Bishop.

There are no black flags, masks or guns, but there is something about the way the supporters are gathering around the brothers.

Have a look - if you can find it among all the doctored versions.

Other than that, Bishop had a problem because he believed the election had been “extraordinarily boring.”

No doubt RTE wanted to make an election programme which the public sector broadcaster could say was targeted at young people.

But how do you get someone to sit up until 11pm at night to watch something about a topic you yourself think is boring?

You don’t is the answer. So Bishop struggled anyway with his stand-up routine (performed sitting behind a desk) and people who are interested in politics watched to see what RTE was doing to engage the young vote.

It was a bore.

And then Tuesday night’s debate came around and … well … he might have had a point.

The final leaders’ debate before the election wasn’t exactly a blast.

Sure, it was entertaining when Gerry starting stumbling over this figures again, but mostly I thought there was an uncomfortable sense of fear.

While Joan Burton performed much better, there was an anxiety about her performance. We’ll be getting the results today, but it looks like Labour are in for the trashing now traditionally reserved for Irish government junior partners.

No doubt, the Labour leader feared for her own seat and those of her colleagues and it reminded you that while we may sneer at our politicians, it must be the most insecure job there is.

Imagine if you had to go around the doors of your neighbourhood every four or five years and ask people if you could keep doing your job.

Imagine having to stand up in front of a television camera and defend your every work decision for the last five years.

I hope Joan still has a job tonight.

Champions League, TV3, Tuesday at 7.30pm

What a privilege it was to watch sublime football on Tuesday night.

We’re fortunate to live in an age which combines one of the greatest ever footballers and the availability on television of almost every high class sporting event.

When Maradona was in his pomp we saw him in World Cups and occasional games, but for the most part his mastery for Barcelona and Napoli was not available to us.

Now everyone watches Messi’s genius with Barcelona and true to form he scored both goals on Tuesday night against Arsenal.

It was a glorious couple of hours of television.

Brit Awards, ITV, Wednesday at 8pm

Am I just being a bit old-fashioned to cringe every time I see the Mastercard ads during the Brits?

We all understand that it’s the “music industry”, but I’m a bit more comfortable when our music is about more than making money for global brands.

Every ad breaks seemed to be accompanied by a star doing a Mastercard promotion.

I’ll stick with the Neil Young view:

“Ain’t singing for Pepsi

Ain’t signing for coke

I don’t sing for nobody

Makes me look like a fool

This note’s for you.”


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