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RTÉ Announces Highlights For 2009
06 Jan 2009 :
RTÉ Television has unveiled a comprehensive range of its programming highlights for the first half of 2009, with 18 new Lifestyle series and 25 new Factual series and documentaries to be broadcast in the New Year and with five brand new entertainment series starting in the first week of January alone.

RTÉ Entertainment begins the New Year with five brand new series across RTÉ One and RTÉ Two: ‘The All-Ireland Talent Show’, which began last Sunday night presented by Gráinne Seoige saw over half a million people* on average tuning in to sees those the multi-talented competitors seeking to win the €50,000; ‘The Lucy Kennedy Show’ is a five-part late-night chat show, featuring interviews with celebrity guests as well as comedy and a look at the events of the week; ‘This is Nightlive’ stars anchorman Johnny Hansom – a former DJ – who, along with his team, struggle to find the right tone for their weekly lifestyle current affairs show in which ‘they are the news’; ‘Project Ha Ha’ showcases comedic talent across four experimental pilots, including Dead Cats Bounce (Work), Diet of Worms (Dublin Stories), David McSavage (Savage Eye), and an ensemble piece, Touching People, featuring comedians such as Bernard O’Shea, Collum McDonnell and Carol Tobin.‘The Magic Kitchen’ is a new show from comedian Maeve Higgins featuring not just ‘funnies’ but cakes too and ‘The Late Late Show’ returns with a special on the GAA to mark the organisation’s 125th anniversary.

Of the 18 new Lifestyle series, five series begin in the first week of January on RTÉ One: ‘In ‘Five Women Go Back To Work’, five mothers return to the workplace outside the home and take on the challenge of creating a glossy women’s magazine; ‘The Great Escape’ follows the Danker family as they travel to Marbella in search of a better lifestyle. Returning shows include ‘How Long Will You Live’, ‘No Frontiers’, ‘Operation Transformation’, ‘The Afternoon Show’ and ‘Seoige’.

Noel Curran, MD RTÉ Television, said: “We begin 2009 in a very strong position: RTÉ One and RTÉ Two performed very well over the Christmas and New Year periods including on the key and most competitive days Christmas Eve, Christmas Day and New Year’s Day, with nine out of the top ten most popular programmes on each day broadcast by RTÉ. The schedule for the New Year looks set to continue this trend, offering viewers the high-quality, home-produced programming at a volume that they seek and deserve from their Public Service Broadcaster. This ambitious schedule is one that it gives me great pleasure to deliver to the viewing public.”

RTÉ’s popular daytime series, return to our screens this week also. ‘The Model Agent’ begins in the New Year on RTÉ Two in which Ellis, one of the world’s most successful model scouts goes in search of the next Irish top model. Aided and abetted by Erin O’Connor, the series promises a whistle-stop tour of the world’s fashion capitals and the potential career start of a lifetime.

Of the 25 new Factual series and documentaries being aired this New Year, the two-parter ‘In The Blood of the Irish’, sees Dairmuid Gavin, travel to the heart of Africa to track the origins of the Irish people. Charlie Bird travels to the Arctic for insights into a region central to the whole climate change story in ‘Charlie Bird in the Arctic’; ‘The Rutland’ is an observational documentary series which captures a year at the Rutland addiction treatment centre; ‘The House’, is an insight into life in a Dublin working-class estate in the 70s and 80s, by a first-time filmmaker while ‘I See A Darkness’ is a look at the complex and highly emotive issue of suicide.

As well as the weekly arts digest, ‘The View’, the new Arts Lives series will feature a portrait of painter and bohemian Patrick Collins, an encounter with classical pianist John O’Conor, a profile of Seamus Heaney and a celebration of a diverse range of music in ‘Other Voices’.

RTÉ Two will have all of Ireland’s home matches in the World Cup while ‘Champions League’, ‘Premier Soccer Saturday’, ‘Premier Soccer Sunday’ and ‘Monday Night Soccer’ all return alongside live coverage of the RBS 6 Nations, Heineken Cup highlights and ‘Against the Head’, a comprehensive line-up of horse racing, boxing, athletics, basketball and golf and GAA coverage.

Almost 788 hours of home-produced programming from RTÉ’s Young People’s Department is set to come to RTÉ Two this year, including the programmes; ‘Junior Ryder Cup Dreams’; ‘Is it Just Me?’ a new ten-part series exploring real life situations that young people face and finds out how they cope; ‘C’mon Camán’ a hurling series for young people due for transmission over Easter 2009; animated drama series ‘Ballybradden’; ‘Watch Your Language’, while ‘The Café’ return and the TTV team will broadcast live from 2009’s Young Scientists Exhibition at the RDS on Thursday and Friday, 8 and 9 January.

* source: AGB Nielsen Media Research: 533,000 on average watched The All Ireland Talent Show at 6.30pm on RTÉ One, Sunday 4 January 2009



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