Author Archives: Bertie Blenkinsop



What you may need to know

1. William S Burroughs invented a technique known as cut-up writing whereby words and phrases are cut from newspapers and then re-arranged at random.

2. One can only assume that something similar was at play at when devising this new miniseries…

Interior HBO Headquarters, young TV executive rummages around in bag, pulls out slip of paper and reads aloud “YOUNG”…

“Okay, so whadda we got here…. “Pope”, “American”, “Young” and “Jude Law”. You’re killin’ me here. Still, at least TV critics will be happy with the Canon Law puns.”

3. With a premise as wacky as ‘Youth Hostelling with Chris Eubank’, The Young Pope sees Jude Law move to the small screen, with a brand new head of hair as pristine and shiny as Sam Allardyce’s England tracksuit, playing Lenny Belardo, the first American Pope.

4. Jude first burst to fame as Dickie Greenleaf in The Talented Mr Ripley, Anthony Minghella’s 1999 thriller.

5. Law was excellent playing the part of a self regarding, foppish dandy but unfortunately as the years have progressed it looks increasingly like he was actually just playing the role of Jude Law in Ripley.

6. Twice nominated for an Oscar, he’s too good for hokum like this I hear you cry but I suppose five kids with three different mothers probably doesn’t come cheap.

6. The ever fabulous, effortlessly cool Diane Keaton co-stars as Sister Mary,

7. This show looks as unhinged as my Mario Balotelli Top Goalscorer bet from last season.

Bertie’s Verdict: Papal bull

PS I’m sorry I don’t have a better recommendation for you this week, here’s some good news about Kate Bush by way of atonement.


What you may need to know

1. August 1994 – Oasis released their debut album, Definitely Maybe knocking Wet Wet Wet’s Greatest Hits from the number one spot. Kurt Cobain had died earlier in the year, their was a huge gap in the market and their impact was instant and huge.

2. Funny, talented, opinionated, with a dangerous edge, almost overnight every second lad in Dublin developed a Mancunian drawl and a swaggering drunken penguin walk.

3. Everyone wanted to look, walk and talk like either Parker from Thunderbirds or Baby Gerald from The Simpsons, depending on which Gallagher you preferred.

4. The wonderful rock critic David Hepworth has a theory that all great artists have a three year purple patch in which they produce their finest Work and after that it’s the law of diminishing returns. You get the very odd exception such as The Beatles, Radiohead, Chico from X Factor etc but overall it’s quite accurate and Oasis are this theory writ large.

5. Cards on the table, I LOVED Oasis when they broke, I think that’s why I grew to dislike them so much when their creativity declined so sharply.Like Michael Owen signing for Man United, if I didn’t care so much to begin with it wouldn’t have stung so much.

6. Definitely Maybe is a stone cold classic album but even so the plagiarism allegations were there from the outset. Within the first minute of their first single Supersonic they reference Yellow Submarine, Cigarettes and Alcohol is T Rex’s Get it on,  Shakermaker is  ‘I’d Like To Teach The World To Sing by The New Seekers , Whatever is Neil Innes’ “How Sweet To Be An idiot”, Don’t Look Back In Anger is Imagine.

7. So where did it all go wrong for Oasis?

8. First and foremost, coke. Have you ever been cornered at a party by a boring, opinionated, self regarding coke head. Well put that to music and you have Be Here Now, their 3rd album, on which they’d so run out of ideas they were even plagiarising themselves.

9. Then there was the fractious nature of the brother’s relationship, a sibling rivalry so deep they made Cain and Abel look like the O’Donovan brothers,Which meant it was always going to end in more tears than the end of The Champ (1979).

10. Thirdly, believing your own hype. It’s one thing to say you’re the greatest but you have to consistently deliver or you look foolish. See also: Conor McGregor being knocked on his hole.

11. The final nail in the coffin for me was when self styled hard chaw Liam had his front teeth knocked out by an estate agent in Munich. Yep, you read that correctly. An. Estate. Agent. Rock and Roll. *devil horn sign*

12. Both brothers have since gone on to varying success, Noel as a solo artist and Liam with the now defunct Beady Eye but overall I’d rather listen to Noel opining about other artists than to any of his MOR albums.

Bertie’s Verdict:The movie looks to have captured the madness and excitement of their early years, if it focusses on the early years rather than the bloated excesses of their decline. It should be a good watch.

Release date: October 26,


There is no sadder sound.

By popular demand…

…Acclaimed for his wide collection of contemporary ‘father humour’ Bertie Blenkinsop writes:

I find it difficult to say what my wife does… she sells sea shells on the seashore.

No matter how much you give a homeless person for tea… they never give you the tea.

I used to work at a calendar factory but I got the sack because I took a couple of days off.

“I hate oyings.” “What is an oying?” “This joke.”

What do you call a fat psychic? A four-chin teller.

Do you ever get that when you’re half way through eating a horse and you think to yourself, ‘I’m not as hungry as I thought I was’

I saw an advert that said: “Television for sale, 5 euro, volume stuck on full.” I couldn’t turn it down.

Here’s a photo of me with REM. That’s me in the corner.

What did the pirate say on his 80th birthday? Aye Matey!

Unless YOUR father can do better.

Pic: Shutterstock


RTÉ presenters launch the Autumn season on RTÉ in Grand Canal Dock last month

Reliving a James M Chimney/Broadsheet tradition

…Bertie Blemkinsop writes:

Heavy work commitments (Narcos Series 2 ) have prevented me from reviewing a fillum this week so instead I’ll have a quick glance through the week’s upcoming telly shows and make a semi educated guess as to what they might be about…

Cash in the Attic: We join the Revenue Commissioners as they pay a visit to Ivor Callelly’s delightful Clontarf home

Pointless Celebrities:
A second chance to view last week’s Operation Transformation

The Walking Dead:
The Social Democrats Ard Fheis live from a phone box in Dawson Street

Celebrity Big Brother:
Mat Osman from Suede discusses life as Richard Osman’s brother

Six One: A chance to relive Manchester City’s emphatic 2011 win over Manchester United

The Sunday Game:
Trying to have mammy and daddy time before the kids wake up on Sunday morning

Super Sunday: How you feel if you succeed at The Sunday Game.

The Sunday Supplement:
What you take beforehand if you think there’s a possibility of The Sunday Game

Loose Women:
Middle aged women discuss incontinence and their love lives ( No change there then…FIGHT! )

Cold Feet: Stephen Donnelly gives his side of recent events

Million Dollar Baby: The cast of Geordie Shore compete to be impregnated by a mystery Premier League footballer

All Star Mr and Mrs:
  Bertie Blenkinsop and Mildred St Meadowlark star in…. Oh a man can dream can’t he?

How I Met Your Mother: Mani and Clampers reminisce about old times

Would I Lie to You?:
Live coverage from The Oireachtas

Two and a Half Men:
Bono, Larry and Adam discuss the recording of The Joshua Tree

Feel free to add them below if you think you can do better….


Previously: RTÉ Guide Only Beetter


Bertie Blenkinsop writes:


Feeling as unwanted as a “Garth Brooks – Croke Park 2014” cowboy hat? Career as dead and lifeless as Myleene Klass’s eyes? Does your agent keep you as well hidden as Ronan Keating’s second phone?

Why not join Celebrity Operation Transformation – A wonderful opportunity for you to simultaneously lose both kilos and dignity?

Like visitors to Bedlam in Victorian England, let’s rattle the cell bars and see who is inside…

Gerald Keane – Or to give him his full name Gerry Keane-to-tell-you-about-all-the great-work-I-do-for-charidee. He and the lovely Lisa Murphy have been engaged more times than Vodafone Customer Service, with Gerald apparently keeping the ring on a string like Top Cat’s coin…Hang on, He’s a solicitor? Strike all that, I LOVE THIS GUY!

Katherine Lynch – Katherine was a real trailblazer, finding humour and fun in the travelling community long before TV3 devoted 75% of their budget and airtime to them. A little known fact: the term Lynch mob stems from the angry gang who witnessed Katherine’s first television series.

Brenda Donohue:
Gerry Ryan loved her. Cynical people said that once Gerry had passed her career would slide but she has confounded her critics to …. Nah.

Karl Spain:
World renowned anagram experts have discovered that Karl Spain is actually an anagram of Karl’s Pain. Coincidence? You tell me.

Elaine Crowley:
She seems cool enough and she’s not Martin King so it’s all good.

Bertie’s verdict: Car crash telly at its finest

Release Date: Tonight on RTÉ One at 9.30pm

WARNING: Embargoed for publication until: 02/09/2014 - Programme Name: Strictly Come Dancing - TX: 07/09/2014 - Episode: Generics (No. n/a) - Picture Shows: **STRICTLY NOT FOR PUBLICATION UNTIL 00:01HRS, TUESDAY 2ND SEPTEMBER, 2014** - (C) BBC - Photographer: Ray Burmiston


What you may need to know

1.Winter Is Coming, Strictly Is Back!”, the motto of House Stark from little known TV show Game of Thrones and how right they are to be excited.

2. Co-hosted by Tess Daly and Alice Cooper since Bruce Forsyth retired the show now enters it’s 14th season with Len Goodman returning as Head Judge.

3. The flagship show of the BBC’s weekend schedules, especially since X Factor has returned as action packed as the Angelus,  Strictly will hope to repeat last year’s ratings triumph of 12 million viewers.

4. Unusually for a celebrity TV show, Strictly actually contains celebrities so let’s take a look at who’ll be giving jazz hands on Saturday evenings….

Louise Redknapp: Beautiful hair, fabulous clothes, with a smile that lights up a room…. But enough about Jamie, his wife is on the show.

Laura Whitmore: A surname and a description. Pretty, young, blonde and famous outside Ireland, you just know Kathryn Thomas is knitting a voodoo doll as you read this.

Ed Balls: Infamous for being crap at Twitter. Imagine jumping in a time machine, going back 20 years and explaining that last sentence to a stranger. Then explaining your skinny jeans and man bun while you’re at it.

Will Young: Will Young is now Old, but then Paul Newman was older than Gary Oldman so it’s cool.

Anastacia: A welcome return to the spotlight for the Grand Duchess, who hasn’t let her murder by the Bolsheviks in 1918 stop her from dancing.

Judge Rinder
: A more feminine Judge Judy.

Lesley Joseph:
Russell Brand’s mum, Lesley found fame playing, well, Lesley Joseph really in Birds of a Feather. The most terrifying sight in leopardskin since Idi Amin.

The Verdict: Strictly makes Eurovision look like UFC and that’s why I love it. X Factor is a write off, RTÉ’s Autumn schedule contains more shite than Mary Poppin’s handbag so even if you don’t like it it’s really the best of a bad bunch. I’ll give it a holds up scorecard of 10.

Release date: Saturday on BBC at 8pm


What you may need to know.

1. “love at first sight may sound trite but it’s true, you know, I could list the details of everything you ever wore or said, or how you stood that day…”

That, dear reader, sums up my relationship with Anna Friel since that fateful day in 1992 when she walked into Brookside and Stole away my heart (insert thieving scousers joke here) and so as a consequence I’ve sat through so much dross over the past 24 years simply because she was in it (Marian Keyes‘ Watermelon anyone?).

Twenty four years I’ve waited for Anna  while she’s been involved in long, tempestuous relationships with first David Thewlis and then Rhys Ifans. At this stage I’m beginning to wonder is she really just playing hard to get or have I misjudged the whole nature of our relationship….

In her latest movie I.T. she stars as the wife of Navan’s own Pierce Brosnan.

5. Brosnan plays the part of Mike Regan. CUE MOVIE VOICEOVER MAN:

“a self-made man who has it all: a gorgeous wife (Friel), a beautiful teenage daughter (Scott) and a sleek, state-of-the-art smart home. His company is on the verge of changing the aircraft leasing business forever, when his relationship with Ed Porter (James Frecheville), his I.T. consultant, goes bad. Mike soon finds himself in a deadly high-stakes game of cat-and-mouse when Ed starts stalking Mike’s daughter and using technology to threaten his family, his business, … and his life.”

6. Personally, I don’t mind Brosnan. I know he acts like somebody is shining a really bright torch in his eyes and bizarrely for an Irish actor he had one of the worst Oirish accents in movie history in Evelyn (2002): “der’s no laws in dis cuntree dat’s gonna keep my dawterr away fromee”, but he also has moments of utter fabulousness like The Matador (2006) that make me think he could be brilliant with the right script.

Bertie’s Verdict: When two people you like collaborate if can be great like Sparks & Franz Ferdinand  or it can be poisonous like Bob Dylan & Keith Richards at Live Aid. This one looks more like the badly tuned guitars in Philadelphia

Release date: September 26 (UK)