"In order for my daughter to talk to me, I have to lie down in the driveway so she doesn't run over me " Debbie Reynolds

In a week when an understandable pall hung over RTÉ radio, it was a relief to hear a discussion of the latest ash-plosion from Iceland end thus: "A suggestion from Tom Barrett, 'Why not bomb the volcano, have one massive eruption, possibly bleeding off the problem?'" read Pat Kenny from an incoming phone text on Wednesday. "I don't think anyone except yourself, Tom, so far has suggested that."

In a normal week, Pat's friend and rival for listeners on 2FM might already have been looking for the texter's number so he could give Barrett's big idea the over-the-top treatment it deserved. It was not a normal week.

Gerry Ryan's funeral on Thursday was by turns moving and funny and theatrical, as befitted him, and while its live broadcasting by 2fm may or may not have been over-the-top, it was so in one respect. "There's nothing that would suggest excess, it's very simple," said Mark Little to Colm Hayes, as they talked over a beautiful rendition of 'Ag Críost An Síol'. Nothing excessive, perhaps, except for Mark Little and Colm Hayes providing a running commentary throughout. Yes, there was a need for some form of introduction to the proceedings but I'm not convinced that the seconds of reflection-friendly silence that occasionally occurred during the ceremony needed to be so comprehensively filled. But that's radio, and you don't go changing it. May he rest in peace.

Some things remain imm-utable, like Michael O'Leary's ability to get value for money. He might have spent a pretty penny on the 160 pedigree Aberdeen Angus cattle that populate his 200-acre Mullingar farm and stud, but a crew of six have the job of looking after them, as well as tending to "50 or 60 National Hunt horses coming home for their holidays". So, a smaller crew than you'd find on the average Ryanair flight but a bigger crew than you'd find on the average Ryanair customer service desk.

The Squire of Gigginstown was on the always excellent Countrywide (RTE 1) last Saturday, talking to reporter Brian Lally while at home on the range. The interview had actually been recorded two weeks previously, with presenter Damien O'Reilly revealing that O'Leary "kept his appointment to talk to us despite being in the middle of the worst aviation crisis in history." And his secret to staying cool? "No matter what the problems are, a walk across the fields of Ireland looking at nice Angus cattle and horses, good and fast and slow ones, it clears your head, it's a great way of life," he said. The horses are "just a money pit", though.

On BBC Radio 2, Monday saw Graham Norton step into the shoes of the Gerry Ryan-inspired Chris Evans for the week's breakfast slot. Subsequent mornings would hear him flirting with Julie Andrews and Rula Lenska, among other fabulous mystery guests, but his opening chat was with Debbie Reynolds, a genuine Hollywood star who's still hoofing it around the showbiz circuit at the age of 78, labeling many of her numerous exes "crooks" and meeting her even more numerous fans. "People say to me 'you look so good for your age, and up close, you're so lifelike'," she trilled, before rattling off staggering impressions of, among others, Katharine Hepburn, Barbra Streisand and, yes, Jimmy Stewart.

On hearing of her bad luck with men, a listener recommended that Debbie seek O.I.L. – guys who are "old, ill and loaded". So Debbie told Graham that he was "very cute", even in his unshaven state. "I am loaded... not old or ill, though," said Graham, too charming to mention any other impediment to their union. "You know, I'm Princess Leia's mother so that makes me a queen," Debbie continued unabashed, before Graham pressed her on how relations are with her intermittently estranged daughter, Carrie Fisher. "In order for my daughter to talk to me, I have to lie down in the driveway so she doesn't run over me," said Debbie. They don't make 'em like that anymore.

And finally, to Arena, RTE 1's self-proclaimed "arts and culture programme", where Garage director Mark O'Halloran was this week ably standing in for Sean Rocks.

He'd just signed off a lively interview with Cockney Rebel's Steve Harley on Wednesday when, unannounced except by herself, up popped fashion journalist Constance Harris, saying: "I'm going to talk to you today about Irish women's fear of their legs." And so began a bizarre riff on Irish dancing, bike cycling, maternal genes and pink skin, with a passing mention of this season's new on-the-knee skirt and the fact that "Courtney Cox in Cougar Town is living in the things" (was this the arts-and-culture bit?)

"The main thing is, girls," Constance concluded, "get out of the shadow of the long skirt... it's desperately ageing, it's not attractive, start flaunting a little bit more flesh." One can only hope Tom Barrett was listening.

Eithne Tynan is away