Singer-songwriter Lisa O’Neill is from Ballyhaise in Co Cavan. Her first record, Lisa O’Neill Has an Album, was released in 2009 and her fourth, Heard a Long Gone Song, came out last October.
How much TV do you think you watch every week?
Not a lot; in fact I lived without a TV for ten years. I moved into a new place last November and in the corner of the sitting-room lives a large television. At the beginning, I covered it with a blanket. Then friends came to visit over Christmas and inquired about the blanket on the TV, so I unveiled the thing. After tricking with many remotes and buttons, I was led to BBC Four, where I discovered a lot of great music documentaries. Now I might turn on for two hours a week, usually on a Saturday night if I’m in.
What kind of shows did you watch when you were young?
The TV was on most evenings after dinner, as my father didn’t like to miss the Six O’Clock News. I remember Glenroe and Where in the World on Sunday night. This always meant to me that back-to-school Monday morning was near approaching. I was often full of fear at this point for lack of homework done.
I’d sit through these programmes, half-watching and half-contriving how to get out of going to school the following morning. I also remember, when the television was more box-shaped than a flat screen, looking into the ridges in the back of the machine, when it was turned off and asking where the little people go when we turn the telly off! I was told they go to sleep.
Are you a "telly on, laptop on the knees and phone for tweeting" over-load kind of person?
I am not. I own a small Nokia phone which I use for calls and texts, and a Chromebook which I use for emails. I can’t apply myself to both at the same time.
What are your unmissable shows right now?
I downloaded The Handmaid’s Tale and have enjoyed every part so far. Margaret Atwood was ahead of her time when she wrote this. One can’t help think she had some knowledge of Ireland’s Magdalene Laundries and Mother and Baby homes.
Has the internet killed music TV?
The internet has not only killed music TV, it has killed the music industry.
Are there any genres of TV you just can’t abide – gardening shows, cooking shows, antiques shows, drama-documentary?
I can’t abide Winning Streak – otherwise known as ‘Schpin the Wheeel.’
Do we need more Cavan accents on TV?
The Cavan accent may be underexposed on our TVs but I’m not qualified to say.
What huge watercooler show have you not seen?
This is the first time I’ve come across the word ‘watercooler’ It would be easier to tell you what I have watched rather than what I haven’t! But I am gradually watching Game of Thrones. I also saw half of Breaking Bad and half of Mad Men, which I enjoyed very much. I neglected them at a time when I found myself consumed by my work, but may return to them again. They’re very well written.