50 Ways to Kill Your Mammy on Sky1 last night was no manual to matricide, but a rather sweet celebration of a relationship TV often mocks: mothers and their grown-up sons.
The mammy’s boy in question is 39-year-old Irish presenter Baz Ashmawy, whose latest TV stunt involves attempting to scare the bejesus out of his 70-year-old mother with various thrill-seeking activities.
Why he’d imagine the woman who worked three jobs to raise him as a single parent in 1970s Dublin would be daunted by a little skydive was never explained.
This week they were in Las Vegas and Los Angeles, where nervous driver Nancy sped a Mustang the wrong way up a desert highway (“Don’t start confusing me now, asking me what gear I’m in!”), learnt how to shoot a very big gun and went on a raid with a team of bounty hunters.
Well, actually, Baz went on the raid, while Nancy waited politely outside in her bulletproof vest looking, as Baz put it, “like a cross between Anne Robinson and Darth Vader”.
The only challenge Nancy did baulk at was one more likely to result in someone else’s death than her own: shooting her own son with a X-26 Taser gun.
Baz assumed it was a mother’s love that held her back, but perhaps she just considered this juvenile jackassery beneath her dignity?
Ah, he’s a good boy, though, really. Not many young men would invite their mothers along on a weekend in Vegas, but Baz was keen to see whether he could persuade frugal Nancy to bet a week’s pension on roulette. Any losses will be coming out of his pocket money, presumably.
The central premise of this six-part adventure documentary – that the very notion of a mum doing anything more exciting than making tea is risible – could have been insulting, but Nancy’s good humour soon dispatched with the stereotype.
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Never mind Brendan O’Carroll in saggy tights, this Irish mammy is much funnier and an inspiration to us all: “Feck it. Feel the fear and do it anyway,” she advised once safely back home with a cuppa. “That’s what I’d say and that’s what I did.”
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