Newstalk’s new drivetime host Kieran Cuddihy tries too hard at taking it easy

Newstalk’s new drivetime host Kieran Cuddihy tries too hard at taking it easy
Ever since Pat Kenny succeeded Gay Byrne on the Late Late Show and transformed it from societally seismic broadcasting phenomenon into car crash television, one way to make your mark as a presenter has been to differentiate yourself from your predecessor as radically as possible. It’s an approach that Kieran Cuddihy appears to adopt as…

Ever since Pat Kenny succeeded Homosexual Byrne on the Leisurely Leisurely Thunder and transformed it from societally seismic broadcasting phenomenon into car rupture tv, one reach to procedure your brand as a presenter has been to expose aside yourself from your predecessor as radically as that you have to perhaps jabber about. It’s an reach that Kieran Cuddihy looks to adopt as he takes over from Ivan Yates as host of the Hard Shoulder (Newstalk, weekdays). 

On Monday, as he steps into the early night slot beforehand occupied by the perennially disgruntled Yates (and earlier than that by the perma-dyspeptic George Hook), Cuddihy stakes his comprise state, by refusing to vent. Surveying the social media response to scenes of partying in Killarney, he decries the “faux outrage” of “of us competing to be the good pearl clutcher within the class”. “I’m now not going to be a half of the band of the outraged,” Cuddihy publicizes, suggesting he hasn’t learn the job description for his new gig.

Fashioned listeners needn’t worry, on the bogus hand. While Cuddihy resists the temptation to fume in regards to the low-striking fruit of youthful misbehaviour, he retains the peeved tone native to inhabitants of Newstalk’s drivetime shows. The twist is that he’s pissed off at of us getting pissed off. “I’m now not defending their behaviour,” the host says of the Killarney revellers, “however you’re now not going to substitute it by waving the finger.” 

That acknowledged, there’s a clear wagging of digits on Tuesday, when Cuddihy voices danger at Govt proposals to gorgeous those refusing to position on face masks. “I don’t must dwell in a society the place the local guard is going to gorgeous me due to my left nostril is poking out from my hide,” he says. He wants of us to position on masks “due to it’s the true impart to procedure, now not due to they’re unnerved of the Stasi”. It’s perhaps a tad alarmist, though as a minimum he doesn’t evaluation the Garda to the Gestapo. Furthermore, the heightened language overshadows his extra severe point; that the proposed fines brand a draconian circulation far from the “social harmony” reach hitherto adopted towards the coronavirus pandemic: “Neglect all that carrot nonsense, here’s a stick.”

Cuddihy’s reach to the programme’s dilapidated “my two cents” segment encapsulates his first week. He’s insightful, with a scything sense of humour, however he tries rather too onerous. One thing an identical occurs when he interviews Colin Parry, whose 12-one year-veteran son Tim changed into killed by an IRA bomb in Warrington in 1993. When Colin remembers that his son changed into an Everton fan, fancy himself, Cuddihy interjects, “I won’t defend that towards you”. It’s supposed as a joke, needless to claim, however indulging in football banter with a man remembering his murdered little one is tone deaf, to position it mildly. 

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Overeagerness aside, Cuddihy can procedure a success of his indicate. The extinct Newstalk Breakfast co-anchor has an irreverent persona, talking about his young teens having “snot on faucet”, yet sounds satisfied whether chatting to singer Brian Kennedy about Van Morrison or discussing pandemic protection with Minister for Justice Helen McEntee. (Though he doesn’t overly press the Minister on mooted hide rules, his earlier rant however.) 

And for all his active presence, he doesn’t seem residence on causing controversy for its comprise sake. Particularly, on Wednesday he returns to the theme of faux outrage, when he asks Aidan Regan of University School Dublin if of us are too immediate to resolve others. There’s indisputably hope for a the truth is helpful verdict on Cuddihy’s programme.

Total, it’s a big week at Newstalk, with Yates’s retirement prompting a broader reshuffle. One extra feminine suppose has joined the distance’s male-dominated weekday line-up. Cuddihy’s veteran berth on Newstalk Breakfast is stuffed by Ciara Kelly, who in turn hands over her seat on Lunchtime Stay to stalwart stand-in Andrea Gilligan. Kelly slips in to her new role comfortably, aside from the odd continuity roam-up. In the longer length of time, great will count on how satisfied she is with the punchier news structure of the breakfast indicate, and certainly how her dynamic with co-host with Shane Coleman gels. 

Gilligan, meanwhile, inherits Kelly’s indicate, with its caller-pushed structure of human-pastime matters and daily life items. It’s a elaborate template that could fair with out issues pause up as soft mush, however Gilligan begins confidently. She strikes up a casual rapport with ubiquitous clinical pundit Sam McConkey when discussing the good field cloth for face masks, to the purpose that her visitor admits to being, ahem, a cotton lingerie guy. Too great info, McConkey himself concedes. The host also has a nice reach of gently shunting windy callers towards the exit, as when one woman begins quoting Oprah Winfrey for no obvious reason.

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But Gilligan locations her brand on the indicate in a extra internal most reach. On Monday, she kicks off a discussion on assisted demise by outlining her comprise spirited views on the difficulty. Once adversarial to it, her angle modified when her father changed into terminally in sad health. She remembers talking along with her father as his condition worsened: a vet, he remarked that animals are better treated in Ireland, as they’re allowed to be achieve all the manner down to pause further suffering. 

It’s a elaborate field, as Gilligan admits, however with Of us Earlier than Profit TD Gino Kenny searching out for to introduce a true-to-die Invoice within the Dáil, she explores it thoughtfully. She discusses both the ethics and the realities with activist Tom Curran, whose unhurried partner Marie Fleming took a case to pause her comprise life, prompting callers to section stories of cherished ones deteriorating in helplessness. Gilligan has an even starker dialog on Tuesday, when Cervical Evaluation campaigner Vicky Phelan talks frankly about her comprise field. “The really apt my teens having to ascertain me in agony the truth is retains me unsleeping at night,” Phelan says of her most cancers diagnosis.

It’s a tricky yet memorable originate to the indicate, resonant and heartfelt. Gilligan has residence a high fashioned for herself, however has already made Lunchtime Stay her comprise.

In April, Liveline (RTÉ Radio 1) added to the gaiety of a locked-down nation when it changed into flooded with disgusted complaints about raunchy scenes on TV drama Fashioned Of us. So hopes are high for a reprise when stand-in host Katie Hannon hears just a few HSE-supported sexual health leaflet that, to primarily the most essential caller as a minimum, apparently promotes on-line porn and masturbation. As is so continuously with sequels, the discussion doesn’t like the an identical thrill because the distinctive, however it indisputably’s aloof entertainingly spluttering. One man, Kevin, fills the mandatory role of scandalised defender of morality with aplomb. Voicing his (completely rightful) objection to onanism on non secular grounds, he explains: “A male’s semen is now not stuff that’s purported to be flushed down the bathroom,” he says. “That is for procreation, for of us obtainable who don’t know.” Good. You don’t like to circulation on-line for explicit disclose when Liveline is in this compose.

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