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Saturday 30 August 2014

Henry McKean attacks Vincent Browne's "mouthing off"

Ken Sweeney, Entertainment Editor

Published 14/08/2013 | 17:30

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Journalist Vincent Browne
Journalist Vincent Browne

The presenter accused the TV3 host of becoming a "panto character!

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PRESENTER Henry McKean has accused Vincent Browne of ‘mouthing off’ about his TV3 documentary on Travellers.

McKean has angrily hit out at Browne claiming that he is becoming “a panto character”.

The Newstalk reporter, who also makes documentaries, is outraged over comments Browne made describing documentaries he made for TV3 on Travellers as “absolutely appalling”.

“To say it was embarrassing doesn't begin to describe it. I squirmed and I railed against it. The Travellers stuff is appalling, absolutely appalling,” Browne told an interviewer earlier this month.

He said  that he felt so strongly he had personally complained to senior TV3 executives.

However, journalist McKean who made the three-part IFTA-nominated series The Truth About Travellers for TV3 has defended his programme.

“Vincent can mouth off all he wants. He has become a bit of a panto character coming out with stuff like this. But I know we made a quality programme, and consulted the Irish Traveller Movement.

“We showed the good and the bad. We looked into everything from Traveller customs to their traditions, more importantly we were nominated for an IFTA so we had a critical and commercial success,”  McKean told The Herald.

However, so incensed was Browne by The Truth About Travellers, he invited McKean onto his Tonight with Vincent Browne show in 2010 to defend the programme. An episode which McKean (34) describes as a “set-up”.

“I had no idea I was going to be criticised. I was ambushed for an hour over what I stood over as a well-made, fair programme. What's more it was watched by nearly a million people over its three-week run, and the first episode got 1.4 million viewers on UK Channel 5, when they aired it in April,” added McKean.

However, when contacted by The Herald  Browne said he was unimpressed with either the IFTA nomination or the series screening in the UK.

“No I am not impressed. To be honest I can't even remember The Truth About Travellers but I stand by my comments about TV3 Traveller documentaries,” said Browne. He also denied claims by McKean that his appearance on TV3's Tonight with Vincent Browne show had been a “set-up”.

“We don't do set-ups on our programme. It simply doesn't happen,” he said.

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