RADIO MOMENT OF THE WEEK
Van’s astral year The Documentary on One: The Summer of Astral Weeks
(RTÉ Radio 1, Saturday) reunites those involved in the recording of Van Morrison’s classic album from 1968, with one notable absence: Morrison himself. Far from hampering Alan Torney and Tim Desmond’s documentary, this allows the other parties to reminisce freely, unhindered by Van’s presence. Over narration from actor Richard Dormer, musicians, friends and Morrison’s ex-wife Janet tell the twisty story of how a penniless Van dealt with Boston students, New York mobsters and bemused jazz players to produce his visionary work. It’s an absorbing listen, even for non-fans. Still, when Janet describes the gloweringly mercurial – grumpy, if you prefer – Morrison as a “gorgeous man”, one has to pinch oneself.