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‘GIG – An Gaeilgeoir is Greannmhaire’ TX Tonight TG4 21.30
27 Mar 2014 : Deirdre Molumby
John McArdle, Síle Seoige and Tommy McArdle
‘An Gaeilgeoir is Greannmhaire’ (‘GIG’) is a newly formatted 8 part series from Good Company Productions to be broadcast from tonight on TG4 at 9.30pm. The series presents the search for the funniest Irish speaking comedian (or ‘gaeilgeoir’) in Ireland. The winner will receive a cash prize of €5,000 and a spot at a top Irish Comedy Festival in 2014.

Presented by Síle Seoige and a mix of judges, the unique TV series journeys through the countryside and the cities of Ireland in search of Ireland’s funniest Gaeilgeoir, choosing between comics, characters, stars and chancers to find who has what it takes. The challenge is unique in its requirement of comedic skills being transformed to work in the Irish language.

Over an 8 week period, the judges will enlist the help of many well-known mentors as the ‘wannabees’ begin the training and the tutoring process. These include Padraic Breathnach, Hector, Blathnaid Ni Chofaigh, Alan Titley, and Ronan Mac Aodha Bhui.

Alongside the competition, the show will include discussions with comics such as Pat Shortt, Katherine Lynch, Colm O’Regan, Jason Byrne, Karl Spain, David McSavage, Chris Kent and Kevin Gildea. They will talk about various elements of creating a comic persona from scriptwriting to audience engagement to heckling to character.

In this week’s episode, fifteen hopefuls will be shortlisted after which the final line-up of eight will settle in Galway City with two resident judges, twins Tommy and John McArdle. The competitors will be joined by a guest judge each week and will go on tour throughout the Connemara Gaeltacht for three shows and finally to Dublin for two shows.

The aspiring comics will be eliminated week-by-week by the judges and the audience. The finale will take place in Killarney with a performance to over 300 people at the premiere Irish Language Festival in Ireland, ‘Oireachtas na Samhna’. At the finale, eight ‘nóiméad’ of stand-up as Gaeilge will be showcased and the winner will be crowned ‘An Gaeilgeoir is Greannmhaire.’

The series was directed by Evan Chamberlain and produced by Chamberlain, Deirdre Learmont and Dermot O’Hanlon. DoP for the series was Ross O’Callaghan, John Lowry was on sound and Susan Downey was 2nd Sound Operator. Cillian Duffy, EMC, acted as online editor while grade was completed by Eugene McCrystal, EMC, and post sound by Keith Alexander at Lime Street. ‘An Gaeilgeoir is Greannmhaire’ was edited by Mary Crumlish and Cóilín Ó Cearbhaill.

Director-Producer Evan Chamberlain has said of the ‘GIG’ series: “This is a unique television series. It’s experimental yet innovative television at its best. We’re not importing a formula and tweaking it for the Irish audiences. This simply has not been done before and though we were all a little worried initially as to whether they were out there, the talent we found was quite amazing.”

The first episode of the series will transmit tonight on TG4 at 9.30pm.

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