Wednesday, December 19, 2012

IRISH TELEVISION REVIEW 2012

Television in Ireland 2012
2012 was dominated by the hype and sometimes hysteria over the digital switchover in October with the ceremonial switch off of the analogue signals. Along with the arrival of digital viewers are increasingly watching on mobile devices rather than the traditional ‘box in the corner’.
RTE still led the way with viewership and home produced topped the TAM rating that were compiled by AB Nielsen. Sport and drama led the way along with the Late Late Show. RTE produced an eclectic mix of programming. The Late Late Show’s Toy Show and the 50th Anniversary Show topped the ratings. Drama output included returning series like the Restaurant based RAW and the gangland based ratings winner Love/Hate. Drama also included the popular soap Fair City. Comedy was another TAM winner with the launch of Irish Pictorial Weekly and the return of the new series of Brendan O’Carroll’s Mrs Brown.
RTE 2’s rating toppers were dominated by Sport. The Republic of Ireland’s Euro qualifiers and appearance at Euro 2012 boosted viewers and advertisers. The Six Nations and Premiership highlights continued to do well.
TV3’s success was maintained with UK based programming including The X Factor and Coronation Street. Their domestic programming done well with Ireland AM and Tonight with Vincent Browne performing well.
3e perhaps has made the biggest impact of the year with ITV’s I’m A Celebrity reality series and repeats of programming previously shown on its sister channel TV3. Sport also performed well on 3e with live coverage of the UEFA Cup.
TG4 also relied on sport for its schedule with high ratings for their rugby and GAA coverage. Documentaries were also strong on TG4 with Basu and Congo receiving critical acclaim. Reality dance series An Jig Gig also performed well now in its fourth series.
Dublin Community Television expanded its reach arriving on the AerTV platform. DCTV broadcasts on 802 digital and the station had hoped to move up the EPG but remained at the latter end of the spectrum. One of the highlights of their schedule was their coverage of the Occupy Dame Street protest and their returning Dole TV series.
Cork Community Television highlighted programmes included The Street and the Fight Game that focussed on the Cork City boxing clubs.
Oireactas TV continued to broadcasts proceedings from Dail Eireann, including the main house, the Seanad and Committee meetings.
Outside the main broadcasters 2012 saw the launch of a new station on the internet Feck TV. Balcony TV continued to expand and pirate channel LTV2 from Millstreet in Cork continued to inform and entertain viewers.

Thursday, December 6, 2012

EUGENE LAMBERT

Eugene was born in County Sligo in 1928 and spent his life involved in puppetry entertainment. His father was a librarian giving the young Eugene access to books on ventriloquism. At the age of ten he began to make his own dummies putting on shows in his local community and at school. In 1950 he married Mai and moved to Dublin. After winning a talent show he got a gig at the Queens Theatre. While appearing on stage Eugene supplemented the family income as a refridgeration engineer with a company called ‘ReCold’ located on Pearse Street.
In the 1950’s he quickly found a good living as a ventriloquist appearing on many of the major Dublin stages at the time moonlighting as an engineer. In 1954 he appeared on the same bill as Laurel and Hardy at the Olympia Theatre. His dummy ‘Finnegan’ became a household in Ireland by the early 1960s. He began to appear with his act on Radio Eireann’s ‘Take The Floor’ radio programme hosted by Din Joe.
In 1963 he first appeared on RTE television with his puppetry show ‘Murphy agus a Cairde’. While making this show he was appearing with Maureen Potter at the Gaeity Theatre on ‘Gaels of Laughter’ and five nights a week on the Jury’s Cabaret Show. ‘Murphy agus a Cairde’ stayed on air until 1968 when Eugene and his director US born TV director Don Lennox began discussing a new programme idea.
He is most famously associated with Wanderly Wagon, an RTE children’s programme that ran from 1967 until 1982. On the show Lambert played O'Brien with puppets such as Mr. Judge (pictured), Mr Crow and Snake. Lambert and Judge starred in a major road safety campaign in the 70's. The plots were set in a covered wagon which was purposely built by RTE. The wagon was pulled by a horse named Padraig which was also bought by RTE.
In 1972 he founded the Lambert Theatre at the rear of his home in Monkstown County Dublin. A 250 seat theatre produces puppetry shows for thousands of children and a good few adults as well.
In the 80's his family were involved with the creation of another famous RTE puppet Bosco. Eugene died in February 2010.
Eugene was married to Mai and the couple had ten children.
STRANGE BUT TRUE
FATHER JACK ON FATHER TED, FRANK KELLY WAS DR. ASTRO ON WANDERLY WAGON BILL GOULDING WHO PLAYED RORY AND FORTYCOATS IS THE VOICE OF OLD MR. BRENNON ON THE BREAD COMPANY ADS HOLLYWOOD WRITER AND DIRECTOR NEIL JORDAN WROTE EPISODES OF WANDERLY WAGON
NORA O'MAHONY WHO PLAYED GODMOTHER STARRED WITH SEAN CONNERY IN 'DARBY O'GILL AND THE LITTLE PEOPLE' NORA O'MAHONY WAS ONCE A LAY MISSIONARY IN RHODESIA NOW KNOWN AS ZIMBABWE JUDGE THE DOG WAS THE STAR OF A SAFETY CAMPAIGN CALLED THE GREEN CROSS CODE