TIM FANNING MY VIEW
Making the switch from radio to TV isn’t always easy, but it can pay off…
Remember when Mrs Brown first appeared as a sketch on 2fm. No? Me, neither. It was in 1992 – a long, long time ago in terms of radio. It was to be another two decades before Brendan O’Carroll’s creation became a franchise intent on world domination. This week, the foul-mouthed matriarch was on Moore Street in the capital, filming scenes for Mrs Brown’s Boys D’Movie. If the stage shows and TV series are anything to go by, it could well do a decent box office.
All of which serves as some encouragement to the boys who once held court on Newstalk’s Off The Ball. Making their debut this week on Second Captains Live ( Tuesday, RTÉ Two) must have been a nerve-wracking experience. But as Tony Hancock and the aforementioned Mrs Brown have shown, it is possible to bring a successful radio show on to TV.
Mario Rosenstock’s impersonations of the great and good have kept young and old entertained on the radio through good times and bad. Whether his sledgehammer humour translates to the screen is debatable, but he must be doing something right, as a second series of his show starts this week.
In the States, some of the most famous names in television, such as Jack Benny, began their careers behind the mic in a radio studio. Similarly, the likes of Ronald Reagan and Orson Welles started out in radio before moving into film.
Not all radio stars have made successful transitions to the small screen. The late Gerry Ryan never quite found the vehicle that suited his talents, and you always felt that he was a lot more comfortable as the shock jock. Another 2fm stalwart Dave Fanning, though a perfectly decent TV presenter, also seemed happier on radio.
Ryan Tubridy straddles both television and radio. Stronger on light entertainment than hard news, his switch from Radio 1 to 2fm to fill Gerry Ryan’s slot was the right call. But he can still look awkward when faced with the newsier interviews on the Late Late. And then there’s Miriam, who, whenever the call is made, is ready to step into the breach and serve God, country and the powers-that-be in Montrose. Twelve amateur bakers show what they can do in the oven in this home-grown version of the popular British cookery programme. The contestants have to impress food writer Biddy White Lennon and executive pastry chef at the Merrion Hotel Paul Kelly (pictured above with presenter Anna Nolan, right). They’ll be poking, prodding and, of course, tasting the goodies (and the notso-goodies) that emerge from the kitchen each week. In this week’s opening episode, Biddy and Paul will be setting their first challenge: coming up with the perfect cupcake. Then it’s up to the bakers to create a Genoise sponge, which will be blind-tasted by the judges. So tune in to find out who’ll be named this week’s star baker and who’ll be going home.