Great to see Nationwide feature the new Waterford bridge last week with some scary shots of Damien Tiernan high up on a windswept column. It looked magnificent and there was Martin Cullen TD and Minister doing the opening honours with Cllr John Halligan, our Mayor. Also filmed was genial City Council figure, Tom Hartery, talking about possible names for this proud icon.

Interesting also to see a feature on Bridge construction from University Of Limerick that featured Dr. Declan Phillips who used to lecture in Civil Engineering at WIT.

Falvey TD

Arthur Mathews was one part of the Father Ted script-team and he and Paul Woodfull have returned with Ardal O’Hanlon as reluctant TD, Val Falvey. Let’s hope this is a slow burner, as on the first showing there wasn’t much to cheer about on a Sunday night in Killinaskully has carved out the Oirish craziness for this type of comedy and if it wasn’t for Owen Roe, as a fixer and a cameo from Linda Martin, this would have gone into a recount. God, it would put years on you and some of the jokes are pre-Haughey and Gay Byrneish. We can but hope but don’t expect Falvey to be re-elected.


The new outdoors series on BBC2 with Ray Mears, the survivalist, is fascinating. Recently he retraced some of the footsteps of David Thompson, a London orphan who went to Canada to work for the Hudson Bay Company and ended up mapping the most of Canada using maths and a sextant. Thompson traveled over 60,000 miles, an amazing achievement to trace rivers, the paths through the mighty Rockie Mountains and to stake Britain’s claim on that vast continent. How one man could brave the hardship and elements and work at trading camps is so hard to comprehend these days of satellite mapping, yet he did it and helped pioneers put down roots and survive.


Watching Scottish actor, the powerful Brian Cox from Dundee, trace the Jute industry his ancestors went to Scotland from Ireland to survive in, made me think of the Jute history of Waterford. Dundee has traced its jute back to Bengal in India, where 90 million people lived in an area no bigger than Scotland. Has the jute industry of Waterford any Indian or American connections. Has any research been done in these areas. I do remember that Jim Nolan wrote a play, The Gods Are Angry Miss Kerr, about Jute factory workers. Dundonians went to Calcutta to set up the native Indian development of these factories, and both Calcutta and Dundee have major cultural connections through the stories of the Jute Wallams who went from Scotland to Calcutta. A disused Calcutta graveyard had over 1,600 Scottish graves in its records. Perhaps now is as good a time as ever for Waterford to take up research on another faded industry as the loss of Waterford Crystal manufacturing is so painfully fresh in our lives. My own wife worked in both the Jute Factory and The Glass.


With the syrupy words of Take Me To Your Heart ringing in my ears, BBC4 served up a wonderful feel-good tribute to Gracie Fields with Jane Horrocks as Gracie and she sang all the songs as well. It was full of those war-time nostalgic songs my mother loved. Let’s make a start again. Forgiving and forgetting. Despite poor health, Fields entertained the troops and despite being accused of deserting the British and marrying an Italian American, she was a grand Rochdale lass and she never lost that common touch that endeared her to millions.


A five-part BBC1 drama with a sci-fi theme, featuring Tamzin Outhwaite as an imaginative detective called Flint. Bit of gobbledeegook really, when a boffin got a video message from a sun spot about an accident that is to happen in the future. Even the top writing skills of Lizzie Mickery can’t save this from the hokum stakes.

The only reason to watch is Outhwaite and the daft idea of a mystery unfolding each week. The title is blindingly coy in Paradox – it might as well be Parrot Talks! Instead catch the plastic remake of V on TV3.


The fallout over the elimination of Grimes’ Twins has started. Ratings have dropped to under 15 million. More than that watched the exit and now fears of not being able to ratchet the viewers up to nearer 18 million are starting to show. Who will get the blame? Most likely it will be Dannii Minogue who wasn’t sure if it was a talent contest or a singing contest, Doh! Consider also that over 4,000 viewers complained on behalf od contestant Daryl Johnson after Minogue referred to newspaper reports alluding to his sexuality, when he decided to sing a song written for a woman.

Ofcom ruled there was no homophobia or pejorative intent in her comments to Johnson but . . . Minogue apologized to Johnson but . . .

For the record I’m a Celebrity . . . is averaging between 7 and 0 million viewers, Strictly Come Dancing is under 9 million. Casualty is below 5 million.