I am the Hairdo
November 16, 2007
I am the Hairdo
I haven’t done much television, compared to radio I’ve done very little, but everything I have done up to now I have had the luxury of putting myself completely into someone else’s capable hands.
My most high profile moment was about ten years ago when I did a series called Pot Luck for RTE. This was a straight cadge of the English Ready Steady Cook with precisely the same formula. I was approached and asked to do just one. On the day I arrived, before the shoot I was sent into the canteen to be fed, there I saw my old friend Margaret Brown from Ballymakeigh House in Killagh.My immediate reaction (as one Cork person to another) was to shout across at her something about how they must be scraping the bottom of the barrel in Chefs if they were putting her on the box. She replied in a similar scurrilous vein and then we settled down together amicably to eat our lunch. Unbeknownst to us the producer of the series had overheard our exchange and came over and asked if we knew each other! He then said that he had to put us on together, which he did, and Margaret and I had great crack, I distinctly remember running across the set and pinching some of her ingredients to the horror of the cameramen and the delight of the producer!
I ended up actually doing four of the shows and was particularly delighted that they used my hands filleting red mullet as the shot over the introductory music for the whole series.
I wish I could remember the name of the girl who was the presenter of the series, she was a lovely girl from Northern Ireland, the first day I met her she said “ You are Martin? I’m the hairdo.
That, I discovered, was the depreciating way that presenters were wont to present them selves.
My television pieces since then have been fairly sparse, a bit of local channel stuff, a strange breakfast cooked, live on TV3, from the warship Eithne in Waterford dock and, most recently a most satisfying moment when Corrigan Knows his Food awarded my recipe for Fisherman’s Pie the best in house.
Just last week I was most surprised then to hear from the City Channel, the people who relay, through the cable, local television in this country.
They said the Jimmy Greeley was too busy to keep up the busy schedule of filming the “On The Menu” series all over the country and would I take over the Waterford part of the series. They also promised to pay me if I would.
On discovering that this would not involve my critical faculties, I would merely be acting as a presenter (ie a hairdo), I immediately accepted.
Today saw my first day’s work On The Menu and I must say I thoroughly enjoyed it.
We had two restaurants to do , one Toscana was a little Italian Trattoria in the middle of Waterford which had only just opened its doors and the other was the rather more established Arlington Lodge, a Country House Hotel in the suburbs of Waterford.
Both were fun in their own ways, Toscana was fun with two voluble Italians and one man from Bangladesh all madly enthusiastic about their project and passionate about Italian pasta .
Arlington Lodge was definitely posher, a lovely restored Georgian house, redolent of silver and glass with a French Chef totally committed to making a marriage between Irish ingredients and French cuisine.
I think I managed the whole lot reasonably well.
The camera man, Kevin, who really did all the work, professed himself pleased and the very fact that we finished a couple of hours ahead of schedule meant that I wasn’t slowing up the process with too many retakes.
And so, at the age of 58, and virtually bald, I finally became a hairdo!