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Michael Lyster explains why he always sat beside Joe Brolly

Former RTÉ anchor Michael Lyster recalls a trick he used on The Sunday Game to keep a close eye on Joe Brolly

Michael Lyster Joe Brolly

Lyster would always keep close tabs on Joe Brolly!

With championship around the corner, the Sunday Game music will soon be returning to living rooms across the country.

The RTÉ show has moved with the times and the personnel has changed over the years. But there is no doubt that figures like Michael Lyster, Joe Brolly and Pat Spillane made it the institution it is today.

Lyster in his role as presenter was tasked with keeping reins on the pundits, and that proved difficult at times when certain analysts embarked on passionate rhetoric.

“After a while with Brolly, I used to insist that Brolly was sat beside me as opposed to Colm O’Rourke or Pat Spillane,” the Galway native told Our Game.

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“We used to put Colm out on the edge, the furthest away from me in the studio. The reason for that was I knew Colm was reliable. I knew he was a go-to guy, who wasn’t going to say anything stupid.

“I kept Brolly in the seat beside me, simply so because I could hit him when I needed to. It was as simple as that. Not necessarily hit him on air, but hit him off air! That was just the way it worked. You did what you had to do. You had to try form a balance between keeping control of the situation, but at the same time knowing the craic in the studio, this is what the audince wanted to see.”

Lyster continued that he was always hyper-aware of the show’s reach and significance.

“I was always aware of it. And I got a reminder of it one day at the airport in Frankfurt,” he recalled.

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“This happened in many, many places. But I was checking in, and I heard this voice behind me. ‘Hey. Lyster. Lyster.; I turned around and got the usual one. ;Would you tell that freaking eejit…’ And he went on a diatribe about one of the panelists. I won’t mention him, but he said ‘Would you tell that freaking eejit Brolly…’ Anyway…”

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