Sunday 21 December 2014

Legal fears force mimic to drop Irish bankers sketches from RTE comedy

Published 12/11/2012 | 05:00

Versatile mimic Mario Rosenstock as President Michael D Higgins

MIMIC Mario Rosenstock has revealed how he has been told to drop two sketches from his new RTE comedy on legal advice.

'The Mario Rosenstock Show' airs tonight -- but without the two skits which the impressionist said RTE's legal team warned him were "unbroadcastable".

"We had to scrap the sketches because we were told if they aired, our series could be taken off the air. It was that serious," Rosenstock told the Irish Independent.

The 41-year-old confirmed that one of the dropped skits had involved Irish bankers.

"It was about bankers signing up for an 'I'm A Celebrity, Get Me Out Of Here'-type show, but it wasn't called that. I thought it extremely funny, but it was taken out over things which have been going on in the last week. Oireachtas committees, that sort of thing, so instead we came up with another twist on reality TV," said the writer and performer who revealed that a second axed sketch had targeted a well-known Irish showbiz personality.

The 'Gift Grub' star said the direction to remove potentially actionable material had come from legal advisers, and not from RTE -- who he praised as giving him carte blanche to send up who he wanted, including Miriam O'Callaghan.

Montrose bosses had no difficulty either, with Today FM presenter Ian Dempsey being one of the show's chief writers.

"People forget that Ian was a very significant ideas man when he did 'Dempsey's Den' on RTE. Ian and myself have always worked out the ideas and the tone for our sketches. Nothing has changed now we're on the national broadcaster,'' said the star of the new comedy, which features material from Ross O'Carroll-Kelly creator, Paul Howard.

Held back from promotional stills are images of Rosenstock as Minister James Reilly resembling a werewolf, and addressing the nation in the style of Charles Haughey's 'Living Beyond Our Means' 1980 TV broadcast.

TDs Luke 'Ming' Flanagan and Mick Wallace are seen hosting a radio request show in the comedy, which airs on RTE1 at 9.30pm.

Irish Independent

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