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Tyrone Productions Celebrates 30 Years of Independent Television Production
15 Dec 2017 :
Patricia Carroll, John McColgan & Patricia Moore
Celebrating 30 years in the entertainment business, Tyrone Productions, with offices in Dublin and Belfast, has produced many of Ireland's leading television programmes.

It's impressive slate of programming across many genres from drama, music, daytime, lifestyle, factual entertainment and documentaries were celebrated last evening with a host of associated presenters, producers, directors and industry friends in an intimate birthday celebration in Smock Alley Theatre in Dublin.

Guests at last nights celebrations included Gay Byrne and Kathleen Watkins. Gay spoke very affectionately of his working relationship and friendship with Tyrone Productions over the years and the combined successes they had together including the hugely successful ‘Who wants to be a Millionaire?’ And documentaries ‘My Father’s War’ and ‘Last Orders’.

Also in attendance were RTE’S John Creedon, Mary Kennedy, Brendan Courtney, along with Joe O Shea, Dr Eva, Paddy Cole, IFTA CEO Aine Moriarty, TG4’s Director General Alan Esselemont and a host of industry representatives.

Tyrone founders John Mc Colgan and Moya Doherty along with Gay Byrne delivered a beautiful tribute to the former MD and friend the late Joan Egan. Current MD, Patricia Carroll spoke of the exciting future for Tyrone Productions and their wonderful team as they embrace Digital Media with many exciting productions in the pipe line for 2018

Founded in 1987 by the renowned John Mc Colgan and Moya Doherty following a successful career in London with TV AM, where John held the position of Controller of Programmes with the station, Tyrone Productions grew from humble beginnings to IFTA award-winning productions along with endless hours of entertainment to millions of viewers. Moya Doherty has since resigned from the company.

From the couple who brought ‘Riverdance’ to the world, John Mc Colgan in his early production years of Tyrone was the first to bring the now celebrated Daniel O’Donnell to our TV screens with the series ‘Country Comes Home’. This was first of many debuts by Ireland’s leading TV production company.

A leader and innovator in independent TV productions and commissions, Tyrone Productions in the 90’s, under the direction of the distinguished Joan Egan, had many successful commissions by RTE and in 1996 Joan and her team were to the forefront with the launch of TG4 for the announcement of the co-production with EO Teilifis for the broadcasters soap opera ‘Ros na Rún’. Today it remains the largest independent TV production in the history of Irish broadcasting and has grown from an unprecedented production of 35 hours of drama in 1996 to reach it’s 23rd series as Ireland’s only rural based Irish TV Drama and Irish language soap.

Household names, who down through the years have graced our TV screens with Tyrone Productions include the legendary Gay Byrne, Mike Murphy, The Seoighe sisters, Brendan Courtney, Nathan Carter, Ray D’Arcy, Mary Kennedy, Marty Whelan and the late, great Maureen Potter and Gerry Ryan to mention but a few. Presenters and Personalities who made their TV debut with the company include Blathnaid Ní Choffaigh and Ódhran Ó Cassaide amongst many other Irish talented entertainers.

Another first for Tyrone Productions was securing the formal rights for the Irish Market to the hugely successful format – ‘Who wants to be a Millionaire?’ The company went on to produce 52 episodes of this series hosted by Gay Byrne with sponsorship from Eirecell. It went on to be one of RTE’s highest rated programmes.

In it’s early years, Tyrone produced many popular programmes under John Mc Colgan including documentaries with Maureen Potter ‘Super Trooper’ and Eamon Kelly ‘The Man from the Mountains’. ‘School Around the Corner’ - the Paddy Crosbie format from the early sixties was given a new lease of life by John with the late Gerry Ryan as the presenter. It since returned with Ray D’Arcy at the helm. Bláthnaid Ní Chofaigh along with Odhrán Ó Casaide made their early TV debut on ‘Dinin’ – written by Joe O’Donnell with puppetry by The Lambert Puppet Theatre. Other early shows included ‘Dairygold Homes of Good Food’ presented by Bibi Baskin and ‘Craic and Cole’ featuring the legendary Paddy Cole and guests.

Other commissions in the company’s tenure include daytime programming ‘Open House’ presented by Mary Kennedy and Marty Whelan. In this genre, ‘The Big Bite’, Seoige and O’Shea and Seoige were also ratings winners. ‘Wanderlust’, a cutting edge online dating format devised by Brendan Courtney and Teresa Smith and presented by Brendan for RTE was also popular for Tyrone Productions.

30 years on, Tyrone Productions continue to bring innovation to TV programme production with an excellent team of professionals in both Dublin and Belfast. In recent years, the company created the dynamic production and highly emotive live broadcast of ‘Laochra’ commissioned by the GAA to commemorate the 1916 celebrations. This production was experienced by a live audience of 83,000 people in Croke Park and record audiences on TG4 Live and player. Previously Tyrone produced the wonderfully memorable Opening Ceremony of the 2003 ‘Special Olympics World Summer Games’ which reached a live RTE TV audience of 1.5million.

Today, Tyrone brings audiences us many popular programmes including David Brophy’s ‘Choir of Ages’ for RTÉ, a follow up to the IFTA award winning ‘High Hopes Choir’, ‘The Nathan Carter Shows’ – for RTÉ and ‘Nathan Carter Christmas Special’ from Belfast Opera House for RTÉ/BBC, ‘The Babymakers’ for TV3/BAI/481, ‘Ireland’s Health Divide’ for RTÉ presented by Dr Eva Orsmond, ‘Cleas Act’ for TG4, ‘My Life’ documentaries for CBBC, ‘Club na mBan’ for TG4, ‘Last Orders’ for RTÉ and ‘Ros na Rún’ in its 23nd year for TG4.

Other recent productions include ‘Quirke’ – a 3 part drama series in co-production with BBC Drama and Element Pictures for (BBC RTÉ), ‘Danny Boy - The Ballad that Bewitched the World’ (RTÉ/BBCNI/BBC4), ‘My Father’s War’ (RTÉ), ‘The Radharc Squad’ (RTÉ & BAI), ‘Football’s Next Star’ (RTÉ) ‘OMG Jedward’s Dream Factory’ (RTÉ), ‘Una’s Dream Ticket’ (RTÉ), ‘Music Inc’ (RTÉ) ‘The Future of TV’ (RTÉ), and ‘Mission Titanic’ (UTV & BAI), ‘The All Ireland Talent Show’ (RTÉ), ‘Ireland’s Greatest’ (RTÉ), ‘On God’s Mission’ (RTÉ), ‘Clown Doctors’ (BBC), ‘Ultimate Street Challenge’ (RTÉ), ‘John Connolly – Of Blood and Lost Things’ (RTÉ) and ‘Christmas Carols with The Priests’ (BBC).

A recognised documentary maker, Tyrone Productions have brought audiences IFTA award-winning ‘In Search of the Pope’s Children’ and ‘Ireland’s Generation Game’, both with David McWilliams.

Tyrone Productions continues to develop the very best of Irish talent and 30 years on its commitment to producing the highest quality programmes is clearly evident from programme ratings and the joyful feedback of audiences.

Patricia Carroll, MD of Tyrone Productions says, “We are looking to the future with a new emphasis on digital media and the many opportunities it provides. In 2018 we’re excited to produce a third series of ‘Cleas Act’ which celebrates gaelscoileanna for TG4, a two-part lifestyle series for RTÉ, following Dr Eva Orsmond as she transforms a Portuguese ruin into a luxury weight loss clinic along with a number of popular documentaries for TV3 on remaining Childfree which are fronted by comic Joanne McNall along with Ireland’s Youngest Grandparents.”

Tyrone will continue to develop some drama projects and focus on live events. “We will remain true to our roots in bringing audiences excellent entertainment value and also make a definitive documentary of one of Ireland’s most iconic performers, Mary Black,” says Carroll, “while continuing to develop an excellent team of professionals here at Tyrone Productions, there are exciting times ahead.”

Tyrone Productions Ltd is a sister Company of Abhann Productions Ltd which is the management company of Riverdance. Tyrone look after all audio-visual productions connected with Riverdance including international sales of the catalogue. Log on to www.tyroneproductions.ie for more.




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