This TV review first appeared in the Andersonstown News

Maybe it’s an entertainment virus with a penchant for politicians, but this past week we had two DUP big beasts grabbing the microphone and giving it their all.

In the Europa Hotel,  Ian Paisley was called to the microphone by Van Morrison (BBC ONE). Van the Man had been trying, with little success, to get the audience to join him in a chant of “Robin Swann is very dangerous!”. That’s because Robin was concerned that proper provision had been made for safety at the Morrison gig. I think. Anyway, never a man to shy away from the spotlight, “Junior” as Van the Man called him, leapt onto the stage and with an arm around Van’s shoulders, the pair chanted “Robin Swann is very dangerous!” over and over. Few in the crowd joined in. It was butt-clenchingly embarrassing. At a later point, Junior explained that he and Van were being funny. EH?

There was a touch of genuine humour and show biz, at Arlene Foster’s final showing  down in Fermanagh. At the British-Irish meeting there, the BBC’s Gareth Gordon asked Arlene about her future plans: “Ah, you’ll have to wait and see!” Arlene told him, going a bit coy. There was  a brief pause. Then “You’ll have to buy my book, Gareth!”  Woohoo! You could feel the frisson of fear that ran her DUP assassins in every corner and cranny and bog of our stateen. If Arlene writes a book, it’ll eclipse that not-so-nice one about RHI that Sam McBride wrote. Arlene’s will be not so much kiss and tell as tell and kick. I’ve my order in already.

But it was only when Arlene was asked how she felt at this moment, having been defenestrated by so many of her own colleagues. “That’s life!” Arlene said, only she actually was singing. “That’s what all the people say”. Yes, definitely singing. And quite tunefully too. “You’re riding high in April, and shot down in May”.  Hat-doffing time, lads. Nothing in Arlene’s political life in this tormented stateen became her like the leaving it. Adh mor ort, Arlene.

Finally, all the news channels had that shot of Joe Biden and his missus with Boris Johnson and his (third) missus. Was it a trick of the Cornwall light or did the Johnson couple look bloated and awkward (bloated Boris, awkward Carrie) while the Biden couple looked trim and graceful?

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