Legendary broadcaster Mike Murphy returns to TV screens this Christmas in Play It By Year, a brand new quiz show where remembering the high-jinx of yesteryear is the key to victory.Play It By Year, which debuts on RTÉ One at 7pm on Sunday, December 27th and runs over four consecutive nights, is a gameshow that delves into the national broadcaster’s archives and quizzes the contestants on their knowledge…
The transmission time, 10.15 at night, was also an issue for me. Here we have the Cromwellian edict of arts programming being banished into the Connacht of broadcasting, ie, at, or past most people’s bedtime. Look at The Works. I never have, not because it’s not a fine programme, (I believe it is just that), but because it’s on too late.
On the night Masterpiece was transmitted it was preceded at peak time (9.30) by the most excruciating boring Prime Time on record – two semi-coherent wannabe front-benchers shouting at each other about the water charges, and a thrilling dead-handed exposition on internet copyright piracy. There, I thought is where the Cromwellian edict should be enforced.
Overall, it [Masterpiece] was a nice bit of event television. Unfortunately, like much Irish arts programming, Masterpiece was scheduled late at night. It’s only a matter of time before RTE arts shows aren’t even on television, but are placed in a box, buried in a secret location and then found using cryptic clues left in the RTE Guide.