RTS Republic of Ireland

Linear TV alive and kicking

The Late Late Toy Show

So said Jill McGrath, CEO of TV Audience Measurement (TAM) Ireland, at the RTS event “What Ireland is watching” in late January.

She noted that “69% of all viewing is to linear-TV... that is viewed either live or within seven days of the original broadcast. 

“In 2020, the average person watched 89 hours of linear-TV every month, which is the equivalent of watching the whole of The Queen’s Gambit on Netflix 12 and a half times.” 

RTS RoI find out what went into the making of RTÉ Does Comic Relief

An RTS Republic of Ireland event in late October looked at how the June fundraiser brought stars, including Normal People‘s Marianne and Connell and Fleabag‘s Hot Priest, to the small screen.

RTÉ entertainment producers Clare and Michael Hughes (they are not related) were given just six weeks to get the show ready for transmission on 26 June.

Our Friend in Ireland: Agnes Cogan

Agnes Cogan

The past six months have been a period like no other in Ireland. Our lockdown has been followed by a partial lifting of restrictions that has us bobbing up and down between level two and level three of the pandemic regulations.

The good news is that production has resumed, and it is slightly surreal that Matt Damon, star of Contagion, a spooky thriller about a deadly virus and a global panic, has been spotted pottering about in Dalkey, a small seaside town south of Dublin, where he chose to spend lockdown.

Filmmakers discuss the significance of TV archive

“Raiders of the (lost) archives” featured a distinguished panel, who discussed why and how programmes are saved and stored – and the value of archive material to film-makers.

Documentary film-maker Sé Merry Doyle recently donated much of his work – the Loopline Collection, named after his production company Loopline Films – to the Irish Film Institute (IFI). Volume 1 of the collection includes Doyle’s 1999 documentary about the lives of Dublin street traders, Alive Alive O: A Requiem for Dublin.

TV producers discuss the importance of locally produced drama in Dublin

Zoe (Amy Manson) in Raw (Credit: RTÉ, Ecosse Films & Octagon Films)

Remaining “local” in terms of story, themes and talent was key. In fact, Paul Marquess – MD of PGM TV and a veteran of soaps including Brookside and Hollyoaks – argued that what worked, in his experience, was being “very local”. 

Marquess said: “It is much harder to build a franchise with global appeal… but there is a huge appetite for quality English-speaking drama.” He called for more locally produced drama in Dublin, adding: “This is a cool place!”

Jess Kelly: Social media has a lot to offer TV and radio

RoI chair Agnes Cogan and Jess Kelly

Kelly, who covers technology both on air and online for the Independent Irish radio station, said that social media, while you “might not agree with what it has to say, never sleeps and is always engaging”.

She went on to outline what the multitude of different social media, including Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and Snapchat, has to offer in TV and radio. As with many things in life, she added, posts offer “the good, the bad and the ugly”.

RTS Republic of Ireland, RTS Scotland and RTS East appoint new centre chairs

Charles Byrne

He has served on the RoI committee since the centre launched in 1996 and took over from founding Chair Al Lennon in 2000. “Al was the inspiration for the RoI centre and it’s been a great honour to continue his work,” said Byrne.

He is proud that the centre’s Student Television Awards have grown over the past decade: “I’ve been delighted that jury chair Marie Penston and I have been able to build up the awards. For a small centre, we have enjoyed great success at the national awards in London.”