'Fair City stole our promo music', say Red Rock as soap wars heat up
In a storyline that probably belongs in a soap, RTE and TV3 have clashed over the use of music to promote Fair City and Red Rock.
TV3 has accused RTE of taking the promo music from its hit soap Red Rock, originally billed as the Ballymount broadcaster's answer to Fair City.
The national broadcaster released its Fair City Christmas special advert earlier this week - a dark promo featuring show villain Heather, played by Una Kavanagh - as the soap gears up for an explosive festive season.
The claws came out, however, when TV3 accused RTE of stealing its creativity by featuring the same song, by singer Lorde, previously used by TV3 to promote Red Rock episodes.
A TV3 insider told the Herald that bosses were taking the move as a sign that Red Rock really is contending for the top spot as Ireland's best soap.
"You know what they say - imitation is the highest form of flattery, so I guess we should be happy," the show insider said.
"Red Rock has really upped the ante in Irish soap land, so it can only be a good thing for the future."
RTE told the Herald it had no comment to make in relation to the TV3 accusations.
However, an insider suggested TV3 had overreacted regarding use of the same promo music, saying: "It's not like their theme music was taken - the song is really popular and is very well suited to dramatic themes, so that's why it was used."
Fair City star Aoibheann McCaul told the Herald she does not believe the shows are competing with one another, as they are both so different.
"I think Red Rock is a great show, and there is definitely space for two soaps in Ireland as we have so much acting talent," she said.
Fair City is set to go head-to-head with Red Rock on Christmas Day when it extends its usual 30-minute slot to an hour for its festive special.
The extended episode will see one of the main characters falling ill as several Carrigstown families welcome home relatives for the big day.
Meanwhile, IFTA-winning Red Rock, which will mark its one-year anniversary next month, will kill off one of its major characters in an episode to be aired on December 30.