“How are we doing everybody,” questioned RTE’s Tadgh de Brún as the GAA glitterati filed into the studio area at the Citywest Hotel, minutes before last Friday night’s All-Stars TV broadcast began.
To say the veteran floor manager, complete in tuxedo and headphones wasn’t best pleased with the muffled reply he received from the glammed-up masses would be putting it mildly.
So Tadgh tried cajoling greater enthusiasm from the audience once more, half of which was monkey suited, the
other half fake-tanned.
And this time, the Montrose man happily eked out a more appropriately receptive response, before introducing the show’s presenters.
Some of the crowd, I kid you not, went crazy for Marty Morrissey. And for a fleeting moment, I knew what it was like to be a mop-topped Beatles fan sitting in the Cavern over 40 years ago.
Mercifully, the sweet-talking
Clareman didn’t break into an impromptu version of ‘She Loves You’. There
wouldn’t have been a word typed in Waterford for a week had he done so.
One Irish dance later, involving a troupe doing more taps in a minute than a plumber would in a month, and the show was up and running. We were now officially on the telly!
Live broadcasting can be quite a hazardous business. Ask anyone who’s ever spoken into a microphone, hearing
no amplified words as you speak. As powerless as a lame duck politician, you’re completely in the hands of a sound technician.
If he’s nipped off to the facilities when the red light glows on the camera without clicking on your mic feed, then you’re Gregory Pecked. Technical problems ensue and another presenter is on cue to let the viewers know “we’ll be returning
to that story in due course”.
Thankfully, from the RTE presenters’ perspective, there were no bloated
bladder-affected techies in Citywest
and the show ran as smoothly as a Brian Cody game plan. And, before we knew it, the show was over – then the night’s major festivities swung into action.
All-Star trophies were happily paraded by the recipients for snap-happy photographers while the TV show set was disassembled in a military-like manner.
If only our Government had acted as decisively and confidently in the past week as this group of workers did, for the speed at which these guys removed couches and platforms was dizzying in its efficiency.
Watching a forklift speed directly towards Cork’s Ben O’Connor was one of the more surreal moments in my sports observing year.
Relievingly, the man from Newtownshandrum, with award in hand, took two steps back at just the right time
as the driver stopped just short of performing a handbrake turn.
Death by forklift in a hotel function room or ‘He died with his tux on’ is not the sort of epitaph a great hurler would desire as a legacy.
Within a matter of minutes, the plush, polished TV set had been swept away, and in its stead were place dozens of
candelabra-adorned tables where the assembled throng were sumptuously wined and dined.
That Kilkenny picked up nine hurling awards was of little surprise given the dominance they exerted in both the semi-final and final.
That Waterford received only one All-Star has not pleased most of us on the
Suir’s south bank, and it’s difficult to avoid the feeling that John Mullane, the summer’s leading scorer from play, was hard done by.
Our footballing neighbours in
Wexford, managed by our own Jason Ryan, will justly cry foul after the bigger ball code’s best XV bizarrely excluded representation from a county which illuminated the GAA year.
But that’s the joyous frustration of the All-Stars, a yearly selection which never pleases everybody. Better luck next year to John Mullane, Mattie Forde and a few more besides. See you all in 2009!