I’ve had it up to here!

“It’s the BIGGEST SHOW IN THE COUNTRY!” the radio fairly bellows out, propagandising, as it does ,the lunacy that either Belfast or possibly Norneverland is a real country. Okay , it’s Radio Ulster banging its chest while promoting the Nolan Show in its jingling trailer..Maybe they want to hit a chord with the public. Maybe they want to scream out the popularity of the show’s host.

I don’t necessarily blame Mr Nolan for any of this false premise.Someone , somewhere in the bowels of Our Local British Broadcasting Corporation obviously thought it was a good idea and the jingle was chucked together much like all those other local programmes and awful provincial advertisments are cobbled together.They’re all trying to maintain that illusory “common-touch” and appeal across the board . It also helps explain why something like Hugo Duncan’s radio show, later in the day, has maintained its popularity. Am I alone in hating his constant blethering ….”You will, you will , you will!!” When I hear that, I want to throw the radio through the wall . The moment it comes on , to save myself the expense, I switch over immediately to Radio 4 or play some music. I’m not sayin g that either Mr Nolan or Mr Duncan are not laudable and wonderful human beings and thoroughly worthy of their wedded radio positions, roots growing from their arses as they sit snugly in their Radio Ulster chairs , obviously thoroughly capturing the demotic country mood. Someone , or several thousand “someones” ,obviously loves them dearly and they’ll probably be there until they die and are possibly embalmed and propped up in the studio. Sometimes a genuinely eccentric choice of personality slips through quality control at the gates of the BBC . Someone like the late Gerry Anderson breeched the defenses and allowed a gentle but wry and comic surrealism to enter the Ulster airwaves.He also had a cosmopolitan grasp of a variety of musical genres. He managed somehow to connect to all of us without resorting to infantilism. He is now sorely missed and very probably so unique as to be irreplaceable.
Anyway …back to that divisive trailer….”THE BIGGEST SHOW IN THE COUNTRY!!”
Let’s get this one little piece of propaganda straightened out once and for all.What are we talking about here ? Surely not the thoroughly imaginary country of Norneverland , lying some leagues west of Lilliput? …No ? Then mayhaps it’s under the bubble-dome that encompasses the City of Belfast. Everything outside of that glassy dome is Out There and generally unknown to the cloistered inhabitants.
Maybe it applies to the whole country of Ireland. Does the radio signal and internet link-up stretch as far as Bantry Bay or Macroom. Are the denizens of Ennistimon and Dungarven avidly hanging on to the words of Stephen Nolan every morning at nine ,as his words of wisdom cover the land from one end of the country to the other ? Is he really “THE BIGGEST SHOW IN THE COUNTRY!”… or is he the greatest show in the countryside? Maybe he’s the BIGGEST SHOW IN NORTHERN IRELAND !”…but when did that become a country?
I feel that the BBC might just be guilty of falsehoods here.Many might have a differing view but although the area of the six counties of Northern Ireland have been referred to as “The Province ” in the past , I’m sure many would have great difficulty with the idea of this part of Ireland being referred to as a “country”. You may as well call Antrim a country.

Then again again , much as I love the quality of many programmes emanating from the BBC, I am struck by the fact that we may all be victims of a none too subtle form of brainwashing to make us believe that fantasy is, indeed , reality .