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For Whom The Toal Tells

  • Stuart Bailie
  • 12 Feb 08, 10:16 AM

Stuart Bailie.jpgThe Saturday Magazine show on Radio Ulster feels more like a social club than a piece of programming. The guests are swapping music, eating well, launching tall stories and meeting people with odd pastimes. And when it finishes at 11am, the team tends to hang around to continue the discussions and to partake of Paula McIntyre’s tremendous cuisine.

johntoal2.jpgThe mainstay of course is John Toal, a clever and affable gent who can converse with Newry lap dancers, children with wayward rabbits and psychotic Westlife fans. He knows his literature and his high art, but he snorts with childish pleasure at the contents of the Russell Ash book, Potty, Fartwell and Knob: From Luke Warm to Minty Badger - Extraordinary But True Names of British People. And why shouldn’t he?

The John and Paula rapport is also something to watch, as the business of cooking on radio is punctuated with Toal’s smacking lips and evident, epicurean joy. We finish with a record review that also aims to be entertaining. Whenever Katy Melua or Il Divo are mentioned, it’s also the chance to be terribly catty.

paula.jpgOutside broadcasts provide the opportunity to take this cavalcade to our listeners. Last Saturday, we hauled up at the King’s Hall in Belfast to visit the Glow event. It was billed as the Beauty And Vitality Show, therefore John was pampered, Paula had her face done and I was subjected to an oriental head massage. My stress was located and eased. The ear lobes were wrung out like minature dish cloths and I did indeed feel highly revitalised. Where else would you get it?

Stu Bailie presents The Late show on Radio Ulster, every Friday from 10pm until midnight. See his playlist here.

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