Banjos and pirates lead charge of TG4's new line-up
HE may not be able to find favour with Giovanni Trapattoni, but Republic of Ireland international Andy Reid will be trying to impress everyone else with his new banjo skills when he takes part in the TG4 series 'Faoi Lan Cheoil'.
Reid is joined by fellow celebrities John Creedon -- fresh from his Failte Towers victory -- and Oscar-winning actor and west-Cork resident Jeremy Irons as they learn a new musical instrument over six months in preparation for a public performance.
The new show, included in the TG4 autumn schedule which was launched yesterday, sees Sunderland star Reid visited at his training ground by his banjo tutor to make sure he's practising his plucking as well as his passing.
"It'll be a good mix of drama with a lot of humour," said Michael O Meallaigh, director of commissions at the Irish-language station. "We also have 'The Feirm Factor' coming in January which is looking for Ireland's best farmer and has Alan Dukes as one of the adjudicators."
Mr O Meallaigh also said that the new autumn schedule would maintain the station's emphasis on high-class documentaries. "We tend to focus on people stories," he said.
Among the new documentaries airing on TG4 is a programme on the real story of Granuaile, the pirate queen, and a new series of 'Cogar', which will include instalments on the Irish Community Care service established in Manchester in the 1980s, the marriage ban on teachers in Ireland and on the Galway Gaeltacht bodybuilder aiming to be Mr World.
And a new series, 'Seoda', which will go out on Wednesday nights starting September 24, sees the airing of significant Irish documentaries from the Irish Film Archive. Audiences will have the chance to see 11 films dating from 1948 to 1970 which cover topics such as politics, TB and architecture.
Each instalment in the series is presented by Niall Tobin and features a new introduction written by documentary historian Dr Harvey O'Brien.
And it seems that audiences can't get enough of the Seoige sisters these days.
As well as bagging their own afternoon show on RTE and older sister Grainne accompanying Des Cahill in the 'Up for the Match' All-Ireland specials, little sister Sile is set to appear in the latest series of 'Paisean Faisean' on TG4. The series kicks off on September 22 and will see Sile team up with Blathnaid Nic Dhonnchadha.
The new schedule also includes 'Daithi ar Highway 61', a follow-up to Kerry weatherman Daithi O Se's trip down Route 66.