Friday 2 December 2016

'RTE's decision to outsource children's TV is a great idea,' says Ian Dempsey

Published 27/11/2016 | 16:57

Ian Dempsey. Photo: Sunday Tribune
Ian Dempsey. Photo: Sunday Tribune
IAN DEMPSEY, DJ AND FORMER PRESENTER OF 'DEMPEY'S DEN' WITH 'ZIG AND ZAG' ON RTE.
Dempsey's Den (1988) © RTÉ Stills Library

Former The Den host Ian Dempsey has said that RTE's decision to outsource all young people's TV programming is a "great idea."

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Dempsey, who fronted The Den from 1986 to 1990, said in his column in The Irish Mail on Sunday that RTE's decision does not mean that the broadcaster is "reducing its commitment to young people's programmes," but is instead "fully committed to delivering original Irish content."

"Surely this is what everybody has wanted all along?" he wrote.

"An independent voice with new ideas and different ways of doing things? Modern young TV makers with their collection fingers on the pulse of trends and technologies?"

IAN DEMPSEY, DJ AND FORMER PRESENTER OF 'DEMPEY'S DEN' WITH 'ZIG AND ZAG' ON RTE.
IAN DEMPSEY, DJ AND FORMER PRESENTER OF 'DEMPEY'S DEN' WITH 'ZIG AND ZAG' ON RTE.

The TodayFM presenter said that Dempsey's Den was "a one-camera show which evolved into  an absolute circus with the introduction of viewer input, music videos, comedy and a couple of aliens."

"Our budget was non-existent but the will was there and we connected with the audience, their parents and, on another level completely, their big brothers and sisters."

Dempsey (55) said that outsourcing children's programming will lead to an "increase in standards, innovation and success" as independent companies battle to get their shows broadcast.

"I know that RTE will still be very hands-on with every element of the production, so they will still be steering the show in the direction that they would like to see on the screen eventually."

Dempsey's Den (1988) © RTÉ Stills Library
Dempsey's Den (1988) © RTÉ Stills Library

RTE confirmed on Wednesday it is to outsource all of its young peoples TV programming to the independent sector amid a “challenging financial environment”.

The move will come into affect at the end of the year and it is hoped it will encourage the potential of more programmes made by Irish companies, particularly in the animation sector.

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