Jonathan O’Brien

Jonathan O’Brien

Showband stories shine with glitz and glam

Showband stories shine with glitz and glam

Reviewed This Week Showbands: How Ireland Learned To Party: RTÉ One The Loudest Voice: Showtime ...

Divine monster: Maradona's astonishing hold on the world's imagination

Divine monster: Maradona's astonishing hold on the world's imagination

He should be dead several times over, but Diego Maradona is somehow still with us. A compelling new documentary sifts through the wreckage of his dazzling, dizzying life and times

TV: How a mighty epic became Game for a laugh

TV: How a mighty epic became Game for a laugh

The makers of Game of Thrones had one of the biggest budgets in the history of television to play with, yet chose to cobble together an amateurish rush job instead of taking their time

A Partridge that’s now struggling to take wing

A Partridge that’s now struggling to take wing

Reviewed This Week This Time with Alan Partridge: BBC One After Life: Netflix Getting a great com...

Dancing to a pop megastar’s tune of power, celebrity and cold hard cash

Dancing to a pop megastar’s tune of power, celebrity and cold hard cash

Revolting and riveting in equal measure, Leaving Neverland (Channel 4) went unavoidably heavy on ...

Chaotic, directionless with moments of genius... and that’s just the lyrics

Chaotic, directionless with moments of genius... and that’s just the lyrics

Shaun Ryder could hardly be described as a protest singer, but it’s impossible to miss the sociological subtext in a lot of these songs

The Best of intentions, but Parkinson fails to score

The Best of intentions, but Parkinson fails to score

Sport/memoir: George Best: A Memoir, By Michael Parkinson, Hodder & Stoughton, €17.95 Durin...

The Northern atrocity no one can quite recall

The Northern atrocity no one can quite recall

Reviewed This Week Massacre At Ballymurphy: Channel 4 Bodyguard: BBC One Stop a hundred random pe...

Pulses fail to race on a street of dreams

Pulses fail to race on a street of dreams

Reviewed This Week Our Lives In Property: Oxmantown Road: RTÉ One Press: BBC One Our Lives In Pr...

Profile of Gareth Southgate: England, his England

Profile of Gareth Southgate: England, his England

England’s 2-1 defeat by Croatia was no huge surprise to those familiar with the respective strengths of the two teams, but it did nothing to dent Southgate’s overnight status as a strong, silent tactical genius

The last World Cup?

The last World Cup?

Many people took exception to Fifa’s decision to award the 2018 World Cup to Vladimir Putin’s Russia, but the huge country has responded by staging a well-organised, trouble-free festival of thrilling football. And with Qatar and 48 teams looming on the horizon, it might be the last good one we get to see for a long time, writes Jonathan O’Brien

Profile Joachim ‘Jogi’ Löw : Löw, actually

Profile Joachim ‘Jogi’ Löw : Löw, actually

Joachim Löw is the great survivor of international football

TV: A serene splashdown in the depths of the big blue

TV: A serene splashdown in the depths of the big blue

Ireland’s Deep Atlantic (RTÉ 2) was a balm for tired eyes, an appealing vista of some of the most graceful creatures on the planet joyfully surging like huge grey torpedoes through oceans of the purest blue

Television: Two weeks that saw the North stare into the abyss

Television: Two weeks that saw the North stare into the abyss

When Michael Stone strafed Milltown Cemetery it seemed like the North was slipping into an even blacker darkness

TV: A journey to the dark heart of Naples

TV: A journey to the dark heart of Naples

There is surely nothing darker on television right now than Gomorra (Sky Atlantic). Many crime dramas strive desperately to achieve this level of bleakness; almost all of them fail miserably