TG4's Comhra presenter Mairtin Tom Sheainin is probably better known for his trips down memory lane with some of Ireland's less controversial icons, but he's certainly set himself up for the old David Frost comparisons now that he's grilled former Taoiseach Brian Cowen.
Y'see Brian opted to sit down with Mairtin for his first in-depth interview since he left office, probably expecting an easy enough ride from the lesser-watched show than he'd get from Tubbs on The Late Late, Miriam on Saturday Night, or Brendan on The Saturday Night Show.If it was a cupán tae and a chat he was after, he was definitely in the wrong armchair.
The Irish Independent has the inside track on what went down between the lads, and says Mairtin wasn't afraid to ask the harder ceisteanna: Brian's answers will probably have the steam coming out of a fair few pairs of ears. That very idea of that IMF bailout having repercussions for everyone on the island? Sure that was impossible in the Government's eyes, apparently.
"Well, the truth is that we didn't believe it. We thought the economy would have a soft landing, that economic growth would continue and we could pay for it through the growth that was to come," Brian said, apparently skirting around the edges of an apology that never materialises.
"I would like to say because it's important to do so, and I've said this before, I have a serious duty to accept my responsibility for what happened and I'm doing that. A lot of people are in trouble and they've got mortgages to repay and so on," he said."You see, what was happening at that time was that billions of euro were leaving the country. So we had to stop that and get that money back into the country if possible," Cowen added.
Now, we don't want to be giving too much away on this one before it airs because it sounds like it's going to make for gas viewing, but we will say that Bertie, BIFFO and that infamous radio broadcast are all on the table for discussion too.
If only you'd gone on with Brendan, Brian. You could probably have given us a rousing rendition of 'My Way' to round the whole thing off... That said, he could also have done a Bertie on it and ended up giving a DCU student the big exclusive. Sure who could forget the time Ahern let his guard slip with a young lad by the name of Barry Lenihan?
Let the "that government, this government" banter begin. Sure aren't they all as bad as each other, wha?