Former Ticketmaster Europe boss Tommy Higgins on competition probes, ticket touting and Covid-19
Tommy Higgins pioneered the Irish ticketing industry and was an original backer of Riverdance. When he sold his business to Ticketmaster, he became the giant's European boss. He talks about the “torture” of competition probes and the economics of entertainment.
6th Jan, 2021 - 30 min read
Brokering with power: Lionel Barber on Brexit, the future of media and why the ECB skewered Ireland
During his editorship, Lionel Barber transformed the Financial Times from a niche printed publication to a global media powerhouse. He explains how he did it and reflects on the business and political powerbrokers he dealt with along the way.
18th Nov, 2020 - 27 min read
The doyen of defamation: Paul Tweed on smear campaigns, libel tourism and the threat of social media giants
Media lawyer Paul Tweed believes defamation laws need to be overhauled to ensure they are not just for the wealthy. And the Belfast solicitor says the state needs to deal with an immediate threat: the power of social media giants.
11th Nov, 2020 - 32 min read
“Sean Connery was the perfect house guest. He turned off all the lights each night after we stayed up talking and drinking Scotch whiskey”
Journalist Sam Smyth talks to filmmaker John Boorman about the Sean Connery he knew. He also recalls his own encounter with the late movie star when he visited the offices of The Sunday World in Dublin.
2nd Nov, 2020 - 4 min read
U2 and me: Paul McGuinness on oligarchs in the Riviera, cutting deals with Steve Jobs and taking financial advice from Bono
With U2, he helped build the biggest band on the planet. With Riviera, he has created one of the most-watched TV programmes in the world. In a rare interview, Paul McGuinness reveals the commercial strategy behind U2 and reflects upon his career.
21st Oct, 2020 - 30 min read
Jim O’Callaghan: “Prior to the next election, we should not be ruling out going into government with anyone”
Jim O'Callaghan entered politics later in life than some and has become a key figure in Fianna Fáil, despite being surprisingly left out of Cabinet for this government. He talks to Sam Smyth about his leadership aspirations, golfgate and why he wouldn't be opposed to going into government with Sinn Féin.
31st Aug, 2020 - 28 min read
From £75 gig fees to 75 years: Van Morrison, a musical genius who does not suffer fools gladly
Van Morrison's recent bizarre call for live concerts to resume amid a resurgence in the pandemic is no surprise to those who, like Sam Smyth, have known him all his life and accepted that his social etiquette as well as his musical talent are well outside the norm.
29th Aug, 2020 - 8 min read
A New York life – remembering my friend and mentor Pete Hamill
Pete Hamill, who passed away on August 5, lived a big life. He was born to Irish immigrants in Brooklyn, and rose to become "prince of the city". He was a celebrity journalist, editor, novelist and biographer. And he was also my friend and mentor.
15th Aug, 2020 - 6 min read
“When I met John Hume in 1968, he was like an unassuming hero in a kitchen sink drama: a leader who really did live in the Bogside”
I knew John Hume for more than 40 years. In later years, he had forgotten my name but remembered he knew me. He introduced me as that “Protestant lad from Belfast” and gave me a hug. For me, his contribution was greater than that of Parnell or O’Connell.