Regrets our song for Europe didn’t make it. No way! But we still don’t have the formula right, or is it we don’t want the cost of winning anymore? Other shock was the low viewing figures for the Soap Awards, down to 5 million viewers. This, despite the glitzy frocks, exciting clips and a gala occasion, must be a serious worry to soap bosses who are seeing ratings collapse before their eyes, despite all sort of variations on weddings, explosions, fires and infidelities. Same night as the Soap Awards, The Apprentice got nearly 8 million viewers.


The top quality of BBC2 nature programmes is, once again, in evidence with the six part Sunday series, South Pacific. No, not the musical, but the three years in the making exploration of one quarter of the Earth’s total water mass. Thousands of islands in a seas as calm as a beautiful dream and as wild as your worst nightmare. Idyllic tranquillity is contradicted by savage footage of baby albatrosses being devoured by predatory sharks.

The programme also went behind the technical back-up to enable shots of tunnel or barrel surfing from inside the actual wave on a super slowmo camera. You also get the original bungee jump as islands celebrate the harvest by diving onto soft soil from a dodgy rickety 80 foot tower. Talk about burying your head in the soil.


As if that wasn’t enough for a Sunday night, BBC2 also have the fascinating search for the first humans on earth, in The Incredible Human Journey. An added feature is the bubbly presenter, Alice Roberts, a famous anatomist, who traced our ancestors back 195,000 years to a dusty pit in East Africa. Believe it or not, this is a top class programme, using state of the art science to reconstruct features from skeletal remains. The DNA tests cannot lie, so in some strange way we are all descended from some primitive man from a time when the Sahara was green and fertile.

Conor Nolan

The genial Waterford City Arts Officer is on a roll these days, with a recent article in The Ticket, then a feature in Hot Press about the City Council’s innovative support network for young bands. Now he is appearing on Nationwide in a promotional feature about the regeneration of old churches like the fine work in Greyfriars Gallery spearheaded by Nolan’s eclectic taste and support for the diverse spread of arts and music that adds so much to this city of ours.

Short Saturday

If you enjoyed the recent BBC1 drama, All The Small Things, one of the smaller choristers was Kiruna Stamell, an Australian actor who has dwarfism, or is it of short stature. She was a student, studying for a media and communications degree, when she got a part in Baz Luhrmann’s musical Moulin Rouge in Australia. She had no intentions of being an actor and joined the extra cast as a movie extra. When Luhrmann saw her he created the role of La Petite Princess. With the money earned she went to England to study Shakespeare at LAMDA and got a part in EastEnders and some touring work before getting the role of Phoebe in Small Things. A case of being in the right place at the right time and no doubt her stature had nothing to do with it.