Last night’s RTÉ Radio One’s The Media Show host Conor Brophy discussed political satire with England-born Kilkenny-based Sean Hardie – one of the brains behind Spitting Image, Bremner, Bird and Fortune and Not the Nine O’Clock News.
Mr Hardie said the Barry Murphy-led series Irish Pictorial Weekly was the best satire “I’ve seen in any country for a long while.”
He also discussed the ‘controversial’ depiction of Squee above (but not the possibly more ‘controversial’ depiction of presidential assistant Kevin McCarthy).
Conor Brophy: “Did you bat those things around though in terms of whether you would actually go down that direction or not, because I’m thinking one of the things you don’t want to do is get into belittling people because of the way they appear.”
Sean Hardie: “It’s a very difficult one that, because sometimes what you want to try to do is get the essence of what a persons like. So, if someone is like a bear or someone is like a cow or someone is like a monkey, it’s a very useful image to have in your mind and their physical body language is bound up with it. There’s a very interesting case in point with Oliver Callan and our president as to whether you reference the fact of what our president looks like.
I mean Oliver is a terrific impressionist. It’s an awkward kind of an area as to whether…I mean the fact about Michael D is – he’s a great man, he’s done wonderful things and his heart is exactly in the right place but he’s a terrible old gasbag and when you see him walking out and representing the nation, there is something which says our dignity is not quite where it ought to be at the moment, which doesn’t belittle his achievements as a president but the physical thing is – do you do it, don’t you do it?
It’s a fine line. If all you’re doing is saying so and so has got a stutter, you’re not really achieving anything. But if it’s part of who they are, then yeah, it’s kind of fair game….”
Thanks Liam Geraghty