Open Letter To Kevin McGahern


Dear Kevin,

I wasn’t going to write this letter, but today i’ve been dodging phone calls from Joe Duffy who wished me to remark upon your having said in De Hedald your wrecked balls were designed to be similar to mine… So this is what I need to say… And it is said in the spirit of fatherliness and with love.

I am extremely concerned for you that those around you have led you to believe, or encouraged you in your own belief, that it is in any way ‘cool’ to be presenting Republic of Telly. It is in fact the case that you will obscure your talent by allowing yourself to be pimped, whether its the comedy business or yourself doing the pimping.
Nothing but harm will come in the long run, from allowing yourself to be exploited, and it is absolutely NOT in ANY way an empowerment of yourself or any other young comedian, for you to send across the message that you are to be valued (even by you) more for your sexual appeal than your obvious talent.
I am happy to hear I am somewhat of a role model for you and I hope that because of that you will pay close attention to what I am telling you.
The comedy business doesn’t give a shit about you, or any of us. They will prostitute you for all you are worth, and cleverly make you think its what YOU wanted.. and when you end up in rehab as a result of being prostituted, ‘they’ will be sunning themselves on their yachts on the Wexford coast, which they bought by selling your body and you will find yourself very alone.
None of the women oggling you give a shit about you either, do not be fooled. Many’s the man mistook lust for love. If they want you sexually that doesn’t mean they give a fuck about you. All the more true when you unwittingly give the impression you don’t give much of a fuck about yourself. And when you employ people who give the impression they don’t give much of a fuck about you either. No one who cares about you could support your being pimped.. and that includes you yourself.
Yes, I’m suggesting you don’t care for yourself. That has to change. You ought be protected as a precious young man by anyone in your employ and anyone around you, including you. This is a dangerous world. We don’t encourage our sons to walk around saying ‘wank’ because it makes them prey for agents and less than agents, a distressing majority of whom work in the comedy industry and it’s associated media.
You are worth more than your comedy or your sexual appeal. The world of showbiz doesn’t see things that way, they like things to be seen the other way, whether they are gazettes who want you on their cover, or whatever.. Don’t be under any illusions.. ALL of them want you because they’re making money off your youth and your beauty.. which they could not do except for the fact your youth makes you blind to the evils of show business. If you have an innocent heart you can’t recognise those who do not.
I repeat, you have enough talent that you don’t need to let the comedy business make a prostitute of you. You shouldn’t let them make a fool of you either. Don’t think for a moment that any of them give a flying fuck about you. They’re there for the ratings.. we’re there for the comedy. It has always been that way and it will always be that way. The sooner a young man gets to know that, the sooner he can be REALLY in control.
You also said in De Hedald that your look is based on mine. The look I chose, I chose on purpose at a time when my promotors were encouraging me to do what you have done. I felt I would rather be judged on my talent and not my looks. I am happy that I made that choice, not least because I do not find myself on the proverbial rag heap now that I am almost 44 yrs of age.. which unfortunately many male artists who have based their image around their sexuality, end up on when they reach middle age.
Real empowerment of yourself as a man would be to in future refuse to exploit your comedy or your sexuality in order for RTE to make money from you. I needn’t even ask the question.. I’ve been in the business long enough to know that men are making (not much) more money than you are from you saying rude words. Its really not at all cool. And its sending dangerous signals to other young comedians. Please in future say no when you are asked to prostitute yourself. Your body is for you and your girlfriend. It isn’t for every spunk-spewing dirtbag on RTE, or every greedy comedy agency executive to buy his mistresses Walnut Whips with.
As for the shedding of the Brian Adhere image.. whoever is telling you making rude jokes is the way to do that does absolutely NOT respect your talent, or you as a young comedian. Your comedy is good enough for you not to need any shedding of Brian Adhere. He’s waaaaaaay gone by now.. Not because you got ruder but because you make great routines.
Whether we like it or not, us males in the industry are role models and as such we have to be extremely careful what messages we send to other men. The message you keep sending is that its somehow cool to be prostituted.. its so not cool Kevin.. its dangerous. Men are to be valued for so much more than their sexuality. we aren’t merely objects of desire. I would be encouraging you to send healthier messages to your peers.. that they and you are worth more than what is currently going on in your career. Kindly fire any motherfucker who hasn’t expressed alarm, because they don’t care about you.

Robbie Bonham

About robbiebonham

Doctor Who fan
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10 Responses to Open Letter To Kevin McGahern

  1. Ciaran says:

    Big thanks to Sinead, I feel empowered in my lack of rudeness

  2. Eileen says:

    Ok so NOW I get it! Although in my defence I’ve been off work ill and not read much news recently.
    You are a very funny man and I’m a bit of a twat!

  3. natasha says:

    Love it Robbie… I had only just read the Sinead o Connor letter to Myley Cyrus so I laughed my head off… very funny as usual Mr Bonham :-)

  4. Bob Byrne says:

    Hey, for those not in the loop can you post a scan of the article or something? I have no idea who he is or what Republic Telly is BUT I love confrontations!

    • robbiebonham says:

      Heya Bobley!
      This was written a couple of months ago, the day of Sinead O’Connor’s open letter to whoever that other popstar was. I merely copied it. and altered it for an ‘Irish’ version. No confrontation, I’m afraid. Kevin’s actually a mate, just as he was taking on presenting Republic Of Telly that week, it all fit. Some people didn’t get it however. Although you are forgiven as you’re out of the country since the birth of the original Republic of Telly. Hey ho.

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