Wednesday, July 12, 2006


Unfair city

We're a good show honest! I see Irish people are going to be hit in their pockets yet again as the Government has decided to increase the Television Licence Fee by €3 to €158 from October 1 this year.

This increase will provide RTE with an estimated increase in public funding of just under €2m in 2006.

It is also estimated that RTE will benefit from an increase in public funding of around €6m from a combination of new household growth and a reduction in the level of evasion.

Communications Minister Noel Dempsey turned off BBC1 to announce that the Government agreed to the price hike in order to provide RTE with money to improve its output:

"Having regard to all of the circumstances it is considered that there is a strong case for approving an increase in the level of the television licence fee.

"The principal reason for this is that it will provide RTE with the means to further strengthen the schedules it delivers the audience in circumstances where Indecon have reported that RTE is providing value for money."

Yeah, yeah, yeah. The same tired old horseshit. The fact is RTE don't need more money they just need more sense. I know I spoke highly of them for their World Cup coverage but the next one's four years away for feck's sake and what we're being served up with now is just diabolical. I took the time to check out RTE 1's evening schedule for tonight which reads as follows:

Documentary charting the amazing life of Richie Kavanagh and his journey from a maker of ornamental fountains to a hit singer-songwriter

Richie who? If he's so great how come I've never heard of him? A documentary about Patrick Kavangh I could sit through but this one? You might as well give me a documentary about Niamh Kavanagh (maybe that'll be on next week).

Vets on Call
Docu-soap series centred around the busy lives of dedicated veterinary surgeons, focusing on the all-women practices in Ceithre Cos in Tulla, Co Clare.

Oh great. A show about people putting their hands up animal's arses. A great show to watch as you're having your supper. I think I'll pass, thanks.

This week's lotto draw

A load of balls. Literally.

Fair City
McNab lets Niamh and Nicola know that the date for the tender has been brought forward. Mannion tries to pin down Dermot to talk to his friend. Brian tells William his price.

Oh thank goodness McNab is letting Niamh and Nicola know that the date for the tender has been brought forward. I can't bear the thought of them missing out on that. I've no idea what any of this is about nor do I want to.

House Hunters
Buying and selling houses in Ireland. Dublin-based couple Sarah and Peter want to sell their house and move to Cork, where Sarah has found a new job.

Dubliners moving to Cork? Clearly they're crazy and not worthy of my time!

RTE News: Nine O'Clock
The latest stories

As if the earlier programmes hadn't made you miserable enough...

Snake Eyes
Fast-paced thriller in which a wheeler-dealer cop becomes entangled in a high-level assassination conspiracy while on routine bodyguard duty

I'm supposed to waste my summer time on this?

RTE News and Weather
The latest stories

Another reminder of how bad the world and the weather is.

Medical Investigation
US drama series about the adventures of an elite American medical squad. The team face a mysterious puzzle when a community's kids fall prey to a muscular ailment.

Oh great now we get a programme about sick kids. I thought summer was supposed to be a happy time?

Forget Me Never
Drama about a successful lawyer whose short-term memory loss is finally diagnosed as Alzheimer's disease. Reluctant to burden her husband, she tries to keep it a secret.

I don't mean to sound callous here...but I'm thinking someone with Alzheimer's disease would struggle to remember to keep a secret, no? The show's premise has failed on me.

Shortland Street
New Zealand soap set in the Accident and Emergency unit of an Auckland hospital.

A chance to learn about sick people on another continent.

Now with all that being said I'd like to offer my groundbreaking idea to improve RTE. Ready? OK here goes. GIVE US BETTER PROGRAMMES.

Did you hear that Mr Dempsey or do you only listen when someone takes out their wallet?


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