‘Revisiting Brideshead Revisited’ & other radio

Things were beginning to return to normal practice as we eased out of COVID late last autumn: one sign being that studios spaces re-opened to those of us who normally visited occasionally.

Although live shows are still not happening at Kinvara FM – where I’m a volunteer radiohead – some of us who didn’t have equipment at home were able to access the studio again at the end of 2021. Sanitisation all the way of course, and our own mic covers! I pre-recorded some Western Skyline shows and then in the end of January I headed off to have an operation. I had a few shows of a ‘general nature’ in the bag and they went out as I gradually began to potter around on crutches. They haven’t been podcast yet, but once I get access to them I’ll share the links as I was doing before the pandemic closed us down.

After my most recent visit to the Tyrone Guthrie Centre I arrived home with a radio essay for RTÉ’s Sunday Miscellany about the 40th anniversary of the TV serialisation of Brideshead Revisited. I was delighted when they accepted it, and we got it recorded pronto to tie in with the anniversary last October. It was so nice to drive into Galway and meet John in the RTÉ studios again.

Here’s a link to the recording: https://www.rte.ie/radio/radio1/clips/22024357/ – click on the URL or the highlighted text and you should get to it. Hope it brings back some memories!

UTV Times – October 1981 with Anthony Andrews as Sebastian Flyte – and Aloysius the bear

Sunday Miscellany: alive, alive – Oh!

A couple of posts back, I scribbled a quick note before I headed into the Ennis Book Club Festival.

Well, I’m happy to report that it was a lovely weekend. The visitors to Ennis really seemed to enjoy themselves. As I grew up in the place, I feel proud that the whole town takes the Festival and visitors to heart. Local businesses had some fantastic book-themed window displays.

Our ‘Seven Sisters’  poetry reading at the Record Break Café was standing room only – we were delighted with the turnout and the audience response. It was lovely to welcome EBCF attendees to Sinéad’s venue, as well as our usual faithful supporters. This year’s readers were Sinéad Ní Síoda, Deirdre Devally, Nicki Griffin, Ruth Marshall, Mary-Ellen Fean, Deborah Ryan, and yours truly.

The Seven Sisters after our EBCF reading at the Record Break Café Photo. Ruth Marshall

I also managed to get to hear Thomas Lynch, in the lovely setting of  St Columba’s Church. By the way: If any of you are around this evening at 6.30pm, Tom will be reading at a Salmon Bookshop gig in Oh La La café in Ennistymon with Stephen Powers and Rain Leon.  I’d already committed to something else and am really sad I can’t be there. It will be a stonkin’ reading.

Ennis Book Club Festival 2019. Photograph by Eamon Ward

The biggie for me was the live recording of RTÉ Radio One’s Sunday Miscellany, which happened on Sunday morning. I was excited and nervous in equal measure. It was a trio of firsts for me:  first time I appeared on the stage in Glór, first live recording, and also my first ‘essay’ for Sunday Miscellany. There was some fine writing, and wonderful music. My thanks to producer Sarah Binchy, and to Carolyn Dempsey for making it all so easy. Also to Cora Gunter of EBCF whose enthusiasm was infectious. Most of the contributions were broadcast last Sunday the 10th of March, including The Hanging Sheriff by Mae Leonard; My First Pint by Joe Ó Muircheartaigh; Preventive Measures, a poem by Caoilinn Hughes; Growing up in Miltown by John Hurley; and Joe Ninety, by Dee Collins    – here’s a link to the podcast https://www.rte.ie/radio1/sunday-miscellany/#103062434

Sunday Miscellany at Glor during the Ennis Book Club Festival. Photograph by Eamon Ward

My own radio essay will be broadcast this coming Sunday, St Patrick’s Day, so keep an ear out for it! I’ll put up a link here, when the podcast is up on the RTÉ website: https://www.rte.ie/radio1/sunday-miscellany/#103067788

Sunday Miscellany at Glor during the Ennis Book Club Festival. Photograph by Eamon Ward

Do listen out for Niall Allsop’s essay on the 24th, and a lovely tribute to her grandmother by Margaret Hickey on Mother’s Day, the 31st March.