RTÉ presenter Ryan Tubridy (above) at RTÉ’s new season launch in Donnybrook, Dublin 4, this morning with environmental activists Saoi O’Connor (left) and James Dunne; also left from top: Tubridy with Dermot Bannon; Rebecca Gimes, Marty Whelan, Neili Conroy and Tina Kellegher; Eileen O’Higgins, Demi Isaac Oviawe, Tubridy and Anna Geary; Anna Geary, Brian Redmond,  Lorraine Barry and Donncha O Callaghan

This morning.

Montrose, Donnybrook, Dublin 4

As you may have spotted earlier, RTÉ launched its new schedule for the forthcoming season.

The season includes factual content:

Quinn Country: “The story of how a billionaire became a bankrupt prisoner, brought down by the collapse of a multibillion-euro gamble on shares in the Anglo Irish Bank, the financial domino which toppled Ireland into economic collapse. Consisting of three 60-minute episodes the makers of this series have been granted unprecedented access to Sean Quinn.”

The Redress Board: “Twenty years after the ground-breaking documentary series States of Fear, RTÉ returns to the stories behind Ireland’s industrial schools and asks, have we learned anything? ”

The Teenage Ambassadors: “Natasha Maimba and Minahil Sarfraz met whilst growing up as asylum seekers in Direct Provision, their childhoods spent in cramped caravans on the outskirts of Athlone. Finally granted leave to remain, this film will follow the journey of these articulate, intelligent and funny young women as they prepare to sit their Leaving Cert exams.

The Yellow Brick Road: “Be it an issue of loneliness, unemployment, relationship, a phobia, anxiety or addiction, four carefully chosen Fairy Godmothers Claire Fullam, Noel Sutton, Greg Xavier and Jordan Dunbar will listen, offer advice and support those in need.”

Brendan Grace – Thanks for the Memories: “A three-part documentary which began following Brendan Grace on his journey to put on a show with the Forget-Me-Nots choir and a group of his showbiz friends in the Olympia Theatre. Then, Brendan got sick. At first with pneumonia, then with cancer. The series changed focus immediately and went from a documentary about a man fighting to put on a show, to the story of a man fighting for his life.”

The Rotunda: “Award-winning series returns this Autumn with eight episodes charting the highs and lows of pregnancy and childbirth in the world’s longest running maternity hospital.”

Pulling with my Parents: “In this brand-new series for RTE 2, a generation who have only known digital dating, let their parents take control of their love lives, including their apps! Can a parental filter help unlock the conundrum of modern hook-ups? Or will ‘Grindr’ be too much for Mum to handle?”

My Big Day Home or Away: “In each of the four episodes, a loved-up engaged couple is given the services of two top class wedding planners, Tara Fay and Bruce Russell. One planner arranges a wedding at home, in Ireland, one plans a wedding away, somewhere fabulous and foreign.”

First Dates Ireland: Ireland’s favourite daters are back for another series which sees hopefuls search for love over the course of dinner in central Dublin. Over 4,000 people applied for the upcoming series, which will air on RTÉ Two early in 2020.”

Niall Tóibín: With exclusive access to rare family archive and countless excerpts from his TV shows, movies and stand up performances, this documentary is a rare insight into one of Ireland’s greatest comical minds. Featuring interviews with all of Niall’s children as well as Pierce Brosnan, Gabriel Byrne and Jim Sheridan.

Ar Son na Poblachta returns to RTÉ One screens in October 2019 as the decade of centenaries continues. Episode one is The story of the life and death of Private George Duff Chalmers – Born in Edinburgh 1902 executed by the IRA in June 1921 and buried in a bog in Co Clare for almost 100 years. Episode 2 deals with Thomas Hodgett, who was abducted from his home never to be seen alive again.

All Hands on Deck: “During each hour-long episode, Francis Brennan will gain an insight into what life is like for the ship’s 1,600 crew members by stepping into the shoes of three of the most senior onboard roles: Maitre ‘D, Entertainment Director and Hotel General Manager.”

Raised by the Village: “After a hugely successful pilot series, Raised by the Village returns for four-part series, featuring 8 teenagers from Darndale, Neilstown, Swords, Waterford and Dundalk. The teenagers are embraced by families in Roscommon, Leitrim, Laois and Donegal.”

Sirloin Steaks & Semtex: “Documentary told by Brian Kerr and the League of Ireland players who made the trip to Libya to play against the Libyan national side in 1989 when he Gadaffi regime was public enemy number one.

“The film uses the RTE Archive to contextualise the overt and covert links between Libya and the Irish State in the 1980s – as beef went one way in major deals between Irish beef barons and Gadaffi’s State while guns came the other way as Gadaffi backed the Provisional IRA as a proxy force in his war on the West.”

Children of the Troubles: Joe Duffy explores the lives and tragic deaths of the children who were killed during the Troubles in Northern Ireland.

Building Ireland: Join our team of experts in Architecture, Engineering and Geography as they explore and celebrate some of the finest examples of Ireland’s building and engineering heritage.

DIY SOS Ireland: “‘The Big Build’ is an inspirational and feel-good format for RTÉ One, which will see a deserving family facing hugely difficult personal circumstances get a significant home makeover to help improve their quality of life. Presenter Baz Ashmawy and his team of experts set out to renovate the homes of deserving families, changing their lives.”

Beyond The Menu: “Presented by award-winning chef, Mark Moriarty, this exciting series goes behind the kitchen doors at some of Ireland’s top restaurants run by young chefs.”

Goodbye House: “The series features downsizers from all walks of life and from all over Ireland, who are looking for new beginnings.”

The Test: “From Cork, Donegal and Limerick, across the Midlands to Dublin and Wicklow, each episode will follow the journeys of learner driver as they are put through their paces before taking their driving test.”

Cat Hospital: “Nestled in the leafy environs of Glanmire near Cork City sits Ireland’s only purpose-built cat veterinary hospital. The cameras follow Claire Meade and her team of veterinary specialists as they attend to some poorly felines.

Home Rescue: “Architect Róisín Murphy and builder Peter Finn and the crew are back to rescue six cluttered houses around Ireland.

Mary Black – Only a Woman: “A documentary celebrating the Irish Singer.”

Changing Ireland: “A look at the effects of Social Entrepreneurs on the people whose projects they are designed to assist.”

As regards drama and comedy, RTÉ writes:

Dublin Murders: “An eight-part crime drama starring Killian Scott, Sarah Greene, Moe Dunford and Tom Vaughan-Lawlor. Based on the Dublin Murder Squad series by crime novelist Tana French, the drama has been adapted for the screen by renowned screenwriter Sarah Phelps best-known for her Agatha Christie TV dramas and for her adaptation of JK Rowling’s The Casual Vacancy. Set during the height of the Celtic Tiger, the series will focus on two murder investigations.”

Dead Still: “Set in 1880s Ireland in the Victorian era heyday of “postmortem photography,” the six-episode period drama follows a renowned memorial photographer as he investigates the murders of his recently deceased subjects. Dead Still is written by John Morton and directed by Imogen Murphy (Can’t Cope, Won’t Cope, Red Rock) and Craig David Wallace (Slasher, Todd and the Book of Pure Evil, Murdoch Mysteries). Cast includes Michael Smiley and Eileen O’Higgins.”

South Westerlies: “A drama set in coastal town on the south-west of Ireland, which is earmarked for a Norwegian-owned wind farm.”

The Keith Barry Experience: “Guests including Laura Whitmore, Rosie Connolly and Ken Doherty are on hand to watch the magician attempt stunts including an attempt at a death-defying escape from a straight jacket whilst suspended upside down from a crane.”

The Young Offenders: “Series two continues where series one left off telling the coming-of-age adventures of loveable rogues Conor, Jock and their mother/guardian Mairead as she tries to keep them on the straight and narrow (Alex Murphy, Chris Walley and Hilary Rose, reprising their roles).”

The Doireann Project: “Following a hugely successful series one on the RTÉ Player, Doireann Garrihy is bringing some more Irish celebrities to life in her comedy sketch series.”

Headcases: “Starring Seana Kerslake, Headcases follows four women as they attempt to keep up appearances as they juggle husbands, affairs and gangsters while working in a Northside Dublin hair salon.”

Bump: “Starring Charlene McKenna, Bump deals with the trials and tribulations of becoming a surrogate for your sister.”

Dad: “Dad is the story of a middle-aged dad moving in with his conservative gay son’s one-bedroom apartment after his wife has kicked him out.”

Handy: “Handy tells the tale of two stepsisters specialising in the oddest of odd jobs.”

Wastewater: “Vinny and Lauryn fall for each other but their future together is thrown into doubt by the intersection of the darkest parts of their lives. Written and directed by Dave Tynan (Dublin Oldschool)”

Skip to the End: “A man suffering the trauma of his young daughter’s hospitalisation following a car accident is given a mysterious solution to skip past his pain. Written and directed by Jason Butler.”

Eat the Rich: “A young bicycle courier, struggling to survive in the gig economy, takes revenge on the boss who fired him. Written by PJ Hart.”

A Deal Is A Deal: “A misguided and disgruntled teenage pigeon fancier reacts badly to the death of his champion young bird. Written by Francis and Geraldine Scullion.”

Mushrooms: “A desperate housewife takes drastic measures to solve her problem. Written by Marion McDowell, directed by Meghan McArdle.”

Yellow Bird: “Faced with the eviction from her home by her own daughter, an elderly mother takes in a Syrian refugee as freedom takes on a new relative meaning for the pair. Written and directed by Grainne Dwyer.

In regards to the Arts, RTÉ writes:

We Need to Talk About Ross: “This revealing and entertaining documentary spends time with Paul Howard, the man behind Ross O’Carroll-Kelly. Described by the Irish Times as ‘Ireland’s pre-eminent satirist’ and by the Irish Independent as ‘one of the world’s funniest writers’, this documentary attempts to get inside the complex mind of workaholic wordsmith Paul Howard.

Wonder Walls – An Irish Street Art Story: “This documentary looks inside this rapidly evolving art scene and see how it is redefining the role of art in our society.”

Garech Browne Last Days at Luggala: “This film is an obituary of one of one of the greatest modern patrons of the arts; a flawed, roguish, but generous, visionary and thoroughly Irish dandy. His sudden death in 2018 left a huge gap in the Irish cultural landscape.”

The Works Presents: “Returns with a new five part series in which John Kelly meets key Irish figures from the arts. In conversations with John, these key creative forces, share insights into how and why they work in their chosen fields. John explores what inspires them and how it drives them.”

David Brophy’s Unsung Heroes: “After his transformational experiences with The Choir of Ages and The High Hopes Choir, conductor David Brophy is back empowering our nation’s carers.”

In regards to religious affairs, RTÉ writes:

All Walks of Life: “Former president Mary McAleese brings well known people on spiritual journeys along some of Ireland’s most stunning and ancient pilgrim paths. Mary walks St Kevin’s Way in Wicklow with actress and author Amy Huberman; she tackles the Mámeán trail in Connemara with Galway hurler Joe Canning and St Féichin’s Way in Westmeath with Minister Helen McEntee.”

Survivors: “Clinical Psychologist Dr Paul D’Alton presents a series of face-to-face interviews with individuals who have experienced various types of trauma.”

In regards to climate and environmental issues, RTÉ will devote a week of investigations, events and debate to the issue during the second week of November.

RTÉ writes:

“We explore climate and environmental issues facing Ireland, with specially commissioned documentaries, events and debates. Gerald Fleming fronts Will Ireland Survive 2050, RTÉ News will continue to put a focus on climate with special reports from Paul Cunningham, and Philip Boucher-Hayes will report in a special programme on government actions and inactions when it comes to climate.”

“…This special week will roll out across RTÉ television and radio, RTÉ Player, RTé.ie and social media. It will also include an unprecedented Youth Assembly as part of RTÉ on Climate – a first-time event for young people in Dail Éireann, jointly hosted between RTÉ and the Houses of the Oireachtas

“With the UN confirming July 2019 as the hottest ever recorded, Paul Cunningham travels to the Arctic Circle and visits the western Greenland town of Ilulissat, on Disko Bay. Cunningham will assess the impact of climate change on this UNESCO World Heritage Site since his last visit as Environment Correspondent in 2006.

“RTE’s youth music radio station, 2fm aims to provide a soundtrack to accompany the Climate Youth Parliament blending interviews and music both on FM and digital with the creation of a special week-long digital radio stream called Generation 2.

“And while young people have been asked to have their say in Dail Eireann on November 15th, expect to hear lots of young people flexing their voices on 2fm in the build-up to the big day.

“In Will Ireland Survive 2050?, Gerald Fleming uses immersive 3D graphics to examine the disastrous effects of extreme global weather patterns on our country.

News2Day, Ireland’s only daily live TV news programme for primary school children, will feature one school each week. They will also cover the Youth Assembly.

“RnaG and Nuacht will co-produce a series of short vignettes featuring personal testaments from people who have made a change/rud amháin, or who plan to make one change because of climate change awareness.

“There will be five 20-minute podcasts from the RTÉjr Green Team, and 16-year-old environmental activist James Dunne is the guide as they tackle topics ranging from marine pollution to renewable energy to how schools can become green.

Tara Stewart will present a sustainable fashion podcast in a brand-new podcast series broadcast in front of a live studio audience during RTÉ Climate Week.

My Story: The Beach Cleaner documents Flossie Donnelly, a 12-year-old Dublin child obsessed with picking up rubbish and plastic from her local beaches in Dun Laoghaire.


The returning shows include Today With Maura and Daithi; Dancing With The Stars; The Late Late Show; The Late Late Toy Show; The Ray D’Arcy Show; Home of the Year; Winning Streak; Eurovision Song Contest; Rose of Tralee; Up for the Match; Operation Transformation; Home of the Year; Ireland’s Rich List; The An Post Irish Book Awards; 10 Things to Know; Eco Eye; How to be Good With Money; Mrs Brown’s Boys Christmas and New Year Specials; Line of Duty; Winning Streak; Pat Shortt’s Music on D’Telly; The Tommy Tiernan Show; RTÉ Investigates; Claire Byrne Live and The Week in Politics.

RTÉ new season launches with focus on climate and new faces (RTE)


Previously: RTE Guide. Only Better (Broadsheet, January 20, 2012)

31 thoughts on “Anything On?

  1. Daisy Chainsaw

    That Quinn apologia is enough of a reason not to pay a licence fee.

    You know those ads RTE shows about you car insurance being €50 higher because of insurance fraud? Poppyclock!! It’s paying Sean Quinn’s insurance gambling debts.

  2. Spaghetti Hoop

    Some good dramas and documentaries in there. (Welcome back Charlene McKenna).
    Shame about the ‘returning shows’.

  3. eoin

    Hmmm, Quinn Country, I wonder did a certain RTE board member have any input into the decision to commission this????

    And “All Walks of Life: “Former president Mary McAleese brings well known people on spiritual journeys along some of Ireland’s most stunning and ancient pilgrim paths. Mary walks St Kevin’s Way in Wicklow with actress and author Amy Huberman; she tackles the Mámeán trail in Connemara with Galway hurler Joe Canning and St Féichin’s Way in Westmeath with Minister Helen McEntee.””

    Ahhh, poor wee Helen. I wonder will she have a word with her constituency colleague and communications minister about that wocious financial black hole at loss-making RTE. Lash them another few mill to tide their €495,000 presenters over, loike.

  4. The Old Boy

    Some of these have been half-inched from Jim Chimney mock-ups of the RTÉ guide on Broadsheet years ago.

    1. James M.Chimney

      We should start a production company and make fat stacks.

      Idea for show…. “Fat Stacks” – A Pancake shop opens on Camden Street we follow as two guys serving flat whites and flat delights to the insta – generation.

        1. scottser

          ‘amy huberman spends the day with dundrum youths who routinely egg ethnic minorities from the safety of gourmet coffee shops’

        2. The Old Boy

          Fly-on-the-wall documentary series in which ageing Brexit Party members must overcome embarrassment to seek treatment for erectile dysfunction. In episode one, Gaz refuses to be seen by a foreign doctor.

  5. Paulus

    A few here may be worthy enough, but the holy grail remains; to fill airtime as cheaply as possible:
    How about Watching Paint Dry. A new game show where competing teams coat a wall with various home-made concoctions. Then the presenter shouts; and now for the Finger Test…which is guaranteed to catch on as a Stop-the-Lights type slogan.

  6. italia'90

    I wonder will the Sirloin Steaks and Semtex programme include a piece about

    the IRA’s chief negotiator/buyer “Blue” Kelly?

    Quite a character by all accounts.

  7. Charlie

    Ah here. They’re wheeling out Francis Brennan again? My Ma and her friends down the bingo will be ecstatic.

  8. The Dude

    Can RTÉ say if they are still paying €240,000 for each episode of Eastenders – which they relay at the same time that the BBC are broadcasting it free-of-charge to viewers in Ireland?

    Putting it in context, they spend €53,500 on making each episode Fair City.

    It is obnoxious that a tax is collected to fund Irish TV / film production and broadcasting,which is then used to pay for imported produce at exorbitant cost – and while aired elsewhere.


    1. Liam

      I assume they wouldn’t pay for it if it didn’t make money for them in advertising. (or maybe that’s a big assumption to make in the case of RTE).

      1. V

        You know that Advertising thing is opening up
        To me anyway
        As one of the biggest rackets out there in RTmemememe

        Look at all the faces / voices up there in the photos
        How many of them feature in adverts?

        Happy to write it up, provide opinion etc if someone gives me the data, who, what and how much’s

    2. eoin

      £240,000 sounds like the BBC’s own production costs for a 30-minute episode of Eastenders. I’d doubt that RTE pays more than €20,000 for a 30-minute episode. It’s always in the weekly Top 20 programmes on RTE 1, but it’s simulcast on the BBC which would reduce its value.

      There is an interesting point here. RTE 1 and 2 had a 25.7% share of viewing in 2016. That declined to 25.3% in 2017. RTE decided to abandon the chart which shows audience shares in its 2018 report but it’s understood to have dropped below the psychologically important 25%. I would say Eastenders gives RTE a boost of maybe a 0.4% for €20,000 for a half hour.

      Eastenders has no business on RTE. It’s a bought in soap broadcast in prime time at the same time as the BBC broadcast. It doesn’t portray Irish life. But RTE can’t afford to drop it for its ratings.

  9. Ian-O

    In light of what I believe is now my 11th year of not paying the montrose moron tax, I feel I do not have the right to comment on this story.

    Except to say thank fupp I didn’t have to shell out for that rubbish.

    Netflix once or twice a week at I think 12 or 15 quid a month does me if I want to watch something on telly. The general internet is good for everything else.

  10. eoin

    There’s no reference at all above to “Cutting Edge”, the 1-hour weekly programme hosted by Brendan O’Connor that used to be broadcast on a Wednesday after the 9o’clock news. It was featured on Broadsheet from time to time.

    I never watched a full episode myself, I thought it was the TV equivalent of Marian, but it was a fairly well-regarded talking-heads news and current affairs programme. Its absence is a little worrying unless loss-making RTE is replacing it with some new NCA prog.

    Last night, the best 9 o’clock NCA Irish broadcast was probably Gemma O’Doherty, that’s worrying.

  11. Liam Deliverance

    “We Need to Talk About Ross” – we certainly do, the man is a menace to society, just ask Katie Taylor

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