Northern Ireland

Joe Brolly meets Mark Carruthers for one-on-one interview to be broadcast next week

Joe Brolly and Dion Fanning. Picture by Hugh Russell
Joe Brolly and Dion Fanning. Picture by Hugh Russell Joe Brolly and Dion Fanning. Picture by Hugh Russell

Joe Brolly met the North's leading political interviewer Mark Carruthers for a highly anticipated one-to-one due to be broadcast next week.

The former Derry GAA star, now a top-of-the charts podcaster in tandem with sports journalist Dion Fanning, revealed he sat down with the BBC's Carruthers for what the former described as a "most enjoyable hour".

Mark Carruthers as snapped by Joe Brolly during Red Lines interview
Mark Carruthers as snapped by Joe Brolly during Red Lines interview Mark Carruthers as snapped by Joe Brolly during Red Lines interview

Carruthers interviewed the barrister and GAA commentator for his half hour radio Red Lines programme, due to be broadcast first on BBC Sounds next Wednesday then on Radio Ulster two days later.

While the former RTÉ GAA pundit and 1993 senior football All Ireland winner has his own podcast and regularly comments on current affairs, his previous long form interview broadcast by Virgin Media caused a stir across the island in late 2021.

Brolly spoke of his early days in Dungiven, including his father interned for three years, and donating a kidney to his friend and public relations executive Shane Finnegan, which he had done in part to "atone for the taking of human life by people close to me".

Commentator and podcaster Joe Brolly. Picture by Hugh Russell.
Commentator and podcaster Joe Brolly. Picture by Hugh Russell. Commentator and podcaster Joe Brolly. Picture by Hugh Russell.

He also expressed the view people south of the border largely blamed nationalists in the north for the Troubles.

Whether a similar stir follows next week's broadcast is as yet unknown. Carruthers has a reputation for tough but intelligent questioning of mostly political figures.

While Red Lines ended its regular run earlier this month, Carruthers did tease a number of summer specials. 

Brolly wrote on social media: "Most enjoyable hour with Mark Carruthers OBE, the Beeb’s most formidable political anchor, for the Red Line series of one on one interviews."

The former footballer's podcast, Free State, began airing earlier this year and immediately attracted a following. It reached number one in Ireland on the Apple charts, though has slipped more recently. It is top on Spotify, according to Chartable.

Prior to going online, Brolly was quoted as saying: "We will range through all worlds and look at how the world really works.” It will cover everything "from sport to politics, love to loss, the human condition and how to fix the world".

On the Redlines interview, the BBC said: "Mark has interviewed Joe for Red Lines which is due to be released on BBC Sounds next Wednesday 2 August and then airs on BBC Radio Ulster on Friday 4 August at 5.30pm."