Thursday, May 25, 2006

The Future of Irish Radio

Yet to find your finest hourMay I bring a link to the nation's attention? Those of you interested in the future of Irish radio - and with commuting times getting longer and longer and no great danger of anything practical ever being done about it, that's every mother's son and daughter of us - could do a lot worse than clicking this link to hear what the next wave - ho, ho - of radio talent will be like.

Radio Kerry is long and rightly acknowledged as one of the premier local radio services in the country, and they're doing their best to pass on that talent, experience and insight to the coming generation. They run a forty week radio training course and have a link on their website so you can listen online, and see what the future holds.

The service is called Mercury Radio, and an auspicious handle it is too - not only was Mercury the messenger of the Gods in ancient Rome, but the Mercury Theatre of the Air was the name of Orson Welles' company when he made his infamous War of the Worlds broadcast on CBS on October 30th, 1938. Big shoes to fill indeed, but An Spailpín Fánach is confident that Radio Kerry's Mercury Radio can rise to it.

It's not like the standard of Irish radio is all that stellar anyway. Only yesterday, An Spailpín Fánach was in a doctor's surgery, waiting to go in for the NCT, only for people. High on a shelf, and chained to the wall, was a radio, tuned to "fabulous" 2fm. An Spailpín had to listen to ten minutes of Gerry Ryan before finally staggering into the physician.

"Cad uait, a Spailpín Fhánaigh?" asked the doc.

"I'd like to die," I said. "Straightaway. I've just been listening to Gerry Ryan and I've completely lost all will to live."

If one of these students can remove Captain Gerry from the airwaves then he or she will have done the nation a favour. And if one of those students is that personal friend of An Spailpín Fánach currently doing the course, so much the better. Nothing is more boring than people going on about their friends, so An Spailpín will refrain from temptation. I will say though, that this is a man who supports where he's from, as I think that's the way he'd describe himself if asked. An Spailpín and he have been discussing hibero-socio-philosophical matters for these past fifteen years, and with God's good grace we shall kick on and do so until those distant (please God) days when we race our wheelchairs down the corridors of the Home for the Bewildered in which our issue have institutionalised us, and fight swordfights with our crutches on the lush green lawns when the summer is high. Treat yourself, and tune in to Mercury Radio.

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