Terry Prone: We love a resignation and all the drama and intrigue that follows

It’s no accident that one of the most exciting and popular recent TV series was entitled ‘Succession’. The who-gets-what battle is riveting

25th Mar 2024
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Originally published in the Irish Examiner.

I was surprised when the Aer Lingus flight from Rome sat on the tarmac in Dublin sunshine for a considerable time because, passengers were told, of a problem with the steps.

Not the air bridge, we noted. The steps.

Eventually, we descended, like visiting dignitaries in the 1960s expecting the taoiseach and foreign affairs minister to greet us on a little stretch of red carpet. Nobody greeted us. Into a bus we climbed and set off to the terminal.

Once we were inside and lined up at the right luggage carousel, I took out my phone and turned it on. Like a mad wasp, it went, buzzing with incoming texts. I scanned through them. “What’s the REAL story?” asked one. “WTF?” demanded another. “Share!” commanded a third. The demands for clarification went on and on and I stood, baffled. Clarifying a thing when you don’t know what the thing is can be a challenge.

Now, if I had a brand, it would be all about being in the know. Being privy to important stuff before it happens, being aware of behind-the-scenes machinations. Of course, I don’t have a brand and am clueless 90% of the time, but you have to keep up a good front, so I needed to find out what had happened without revealing pig ignorance to all and sundry.

Whatever had happened seemed to be a political event, given the preponderance of messages from politicians, so I went to someone from a different profession and asked the nakedly simple question: “What’s happened?”

“Leo!” came the breathless, useless response.

“Leo?” I replied, demonstrating praiseworthy patience. “Yes!” the individual maddeningly replied.

“Leo what?” I asked, grinding my teeth in irritation.

“Leo resigned", the phone told me.

“Why?” I asked, to be frustratingly told that my correspondent wouldn’t have been on to me in the first place if they hadn’t believed I would know the answer to that question.At this point, I realised I was on my own in front of the baggage carousel, with one bag — mine — circling like a baggage orphan, and customs guys looking at me through narrowed eyes, as if they had it sorted that I was the one bringing in the shrink-wrapped crystal meth.

I got a move on, confident that the next day or so would be exciting. As they were. It’s not an accident that one of the most exciting and popular recent TV series was entitled Succession. The who-gets-what battle is riveting.

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