ColumnistsDaragh Keany

'Fair City is only the third best soap in Ireland now'

'Fair City is only the third best soap in Ireland now'

I had the pleasure of interviewing an actor called Sean Mahon this week. He’s not exactly a household name but playing the paedophile cop in TV3’s Red Rock has given him much more of a profile than he had 18 months ago.

I will happily admit that I only dip in and out of Red Rock and that I haven’t seen a full episode of the show since the opening weeks of the much-hyped soap. 

So, you can imagine my surprise last week when I tuned in (for research purposes obviously) to catch the dramatic goings on. It’s actually bloody brilliant. 

It’s well written, it’s well acted and it’s well shot. The stuff I saw was fantastic. They nearly have McKay’s killer. They just need a confession. 

Like most of the country, I was sceptical about the idea of TV3 producing a weekly soap for 40-odd weeks of the year. Their last effort, Deception, was beyond embarrassing, but they seem to have nailed it with this. 

It also means that by default – Fair City is now only the third best soap in Ireland. I’ve long championed Ros na Rún’s limited efforts.

The automatic handicap of being transmitted as Gaeilge results in relatively poor ratings. But it has some of the best stories and one liners (assuming the person in charge of writing the subtitles knows what they are at) in Irish telly. 

If I spoke Irish I would tune in for every single episode. Or at the very least – record them. 

Having dabbled in Red Rock once more I am kind of hooked. So is my wife. Which means it could well become the latest Series Link on our Sky Box. 

As for Fair City – I think RTE could save a fortune by taking a leaf out of the other’s book. Two episodes of Dean defrosting the Vol-au-vents, Charlotte drinking poitín or Leo and Ray’s blossoming ‘bromance’ is way more than enough, if you ask me.