Last public appearance of Sheikha Latifa bint Mohammed al Maktoum seen at a lunch with former Irish President Mary Robinson on 24 December 2018, in Dubai, United Arab Emirates. Balkis Press/ABACA
nights in

Sofa Watch: Mary Robinson speaks to Tubridy about being 'horribly tricked' in Dubai princess case

All you need to know about your Irish and international chat show options.

AS ANOTHER FRIDAY night rolls around, a bit of socially distant light banter might help to break up the monotony.

With temperatures still on the chilly side, there’s no better night to sit on the couch and watch some quality chat shows.

Here’s our latest round-up of talk show content from the week and what will be on tonight. There should be plenty here to keep anyone occupied.

  • The Late Late Show, RTÉ One, 9.35pm

What’s another year, and another Eurovision winners panel on the Late Late.

The show is going “full tilt” on the Eurovision tonight, according to Tubridy, with former winners Linda Martin, Niamh Kavanagh, Charlie McGettigan, and Paul Harrington in the studio for some musical performances and to celebrate “iconic Irish moments” from the competition.

“The more Irish we go the more people watch,” Ryan told his radio listeners this morning, “tune in if you want a break from it all”.

Ireland’s Eurovision sentries will be gathering as Dubliner Lesley Roy gives her debut performance of Ireland’s 2021 Eurovision entry, Maps. Her Eurovision hopes were dashed with the cancellation of last year’s show, but now she’s hoping for glory in Rotterdam this May.

Separately, former President of Ireland Mary Robinson will be on to tell the full story of how she now believes she was “horribly tricked” over a photo taken of her with Princess Latifa, the daughter of the Dubai ruler – who has said she is being held hostage by her father.

In February 2018, Princess Latifa Al Maktoum reportedly tried to flee Dubai, but her friends said that commandos stormed a boat carrying her off the coast of India. She was then brought back to the Emirates by Dubai’s ruler, the UAE’s prime minister and vice president Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum.

Amid increasing international concern for the woman’s welfare, in December 2018 Mary Robinson attended a family lunch on invitation from Dubai’s royal family, and was photographed with the princess. Afterwards, Robinson called Latifa a “troubled young woman”, which drew criticism from human rights organisations.

In footage shared with and published by BBC Panorama, Princess Latifa Al Maktoum appears in a video where she says that she is a hostage in a “villa converted into a jail” guarded by police, and fears for her safety. Robinson told the BBC she thought the photo was “private” and to prove that the princess was alive.

Ryan will also be chatting to Breaking Bad star Bryan Cranston about his new series Your Honor, his Golden Globe nomination, and his greatest roles to date.

Irish Paralympic athletes Ellen Keane, Colin Judge, Nicola Turner, Martin Gordon, and president of Paralympics Ireland John Fulham will be discussing their hopes for Tokyo this summer and the challenges of training for a worldwide stage in the midst of a pandemic.

Also, the press photographer of the year will be announced live on air following a showcase of the shortlisted images from this year’s PPAI Awards.

Eurovision Song Contest / YouTube

  • The Graham Norton Show, BBC One, 11.15pm

Among the guests joining Graham tonight: Kate Winslet, talking about her role in romantic Victorian drama Ammonite; Actor Stanley Tucci, portraying a writer with dementia in Supernova; Lord of the Rings and Pirates of the Caribbean star Orlando Bloom, on the new revenge drama Retaliation; and British actor Kingsley Ben-Adir, in new sci-fi anthology Soulmates.

Silk City will be performing New Love with Ellie Goulding. 

The Graham Norton Show / YouTube

Across the pond

China last month said that Covid-19 anal swabs can be more effective than normal throat and nose swabs as the virus can linger longer in the digestive system. But Beijing yesterday denied using the swabs on US diplomats, following American media reports that State Department personnel had complained of being subjected to the intrusive test.

Officials in China said the swabs have been used in smaller outbreaks and on people it considers at high-risk of contracting Covid-19.

But since China has largely brought the virus under control domestically Jimmy Kimmel reckons they might be onto something: “If our government was doing anal swabs, I’d stay inside too, I think. Maybe that’s the answer.”

Jimmy Kimmel Live / YouTube

Irish actress Eve Hewson, star of the Netflix show Behind Her Eyes, told Jimmy Fallon about quarantining with her dad Bono.

“If the Osbournes and the Kardashians combined to make a show, that was my lockdown experience,” she said. 

The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon / YouTube

On Last Week Tonight, John Oliver tackles the issue of meat plants in the US, and how the pandemic has escalated some of the longstanding issues surrounding working conditions. Oliver explains why greater oversight is needed, and how it can be achieved. 

LastWeekTonight / YouTube

From the archives 

On this day in 1932, the Man in Black was born in Arkansas. On what would have been his 89th birthday, we look back at Johnny Cash’s time in Ireland. 

In 1958, Cash came here for a holiday, inspiring him to write Forty Shades of Green. The place names in Ireland are begging to be sung, he said. 

When he returned in 1975 to perform two shows at the Carlton in Dublin he spoke to RTÉ and had these words of wisdom: 

“Be sure that you know that it’s what you want to do and then don’t stop trying because it might be the 92nd time you try that you finally make it.”

CR's Video Vaults / YouTube

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