Wednesday 22 February 2017

RTE deny claims that Reality Bites is facing the axe

Sasha Brady

Published 29/11/2016 | 15:23

Reality Bites: Asking for It
Reality Bites: Asking for It
RTE Reality Bites: Paying for Sex
Republic of Telly's cast

RTE has denied reports that Reality Bites is to be scrapped in the new year.

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The reports were today dismissed by an RTE spokesperson who told Independent.ie that it was "not true".

The spokesperson confirmed that the popular documentary series will be back in the new year and production has already begun on some new documentaries within the Reality Bites strand.

The series has been widely praised for dealing with topical, sensitive and controversial issues.

RTE Reality Bites: Paying for Sex
RTE Reality Bites: Paying for Sex

Previous episodes explored the issue of consent and the rise of sexual assault in Irish society (Asking for It); the reasons why soccer players don't come out as gay (Playing it Straight) and the ongoing debate around prostitution in Ireland (Paying for Sex).

Last Wednesday the national broadcaster announced it is to outsource all of its young peoples TV programming to the independent sector amid a “challenging financial environment”.

It's predicted that the station will end the year with losses of €20 million.

RTE has carried several high-cost events this year, such as the General Election coverage, 1916 commemorations and the Olympics, while advertising revenue growth has been below expectations.

Republic of Telly's cast
Republic of Telly's cast

Reports today also suggested that RTE2 show Republic of Telly, hosted by comedian Kevin McGahern, is also set to be scrapped in the new year.

RTE has said that no official decision has been made on the show's future.

"No decision has been made yet on whether Republic of Telly will be returning to RTE2 in the spring. As is common practice for all our shows, we will review its performance this season and over the coming will make a decision on whether to re-commission it for another series in 2017.

"RTE is committed to producing home grown Irish content on RTE2 on Monday nights and will continue to do so in 2017."

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