Monday 15 October 2018

TV3 in hot water over reality show with pathologist Marie Cassidy

Marie Cassidy and chef Stephen McAllister in The Restaurant on TV3. Far left: Dr Cassidy in her forensic gear. Picture: Press 22
Marie Cassidy and chef Stephen McAllister in The Restaurant on TV3. Far left: Dr Cassidy in her forensic gear. Picture: Press 22
Dr Marie Cassidy, the State Pathologist

Mark O'Regan, Kirsty Blake Knox and Adam Cullen

TV3 has landed itself in hot water after using "insensitive" and "childish humour" to describe State Pathologist Marie Cassidy's participation in reality show The Restaurant.

Ahead of the state pathologist's appearance tonight, TV3 issued a press statement which contained a number of "ghoulish" references to death.

These included: "State Pathologist Marie Cassidy hopes to knock 'em dead on TV3's 'The Restaurant'."

It continued: "Hoping to blow the diners away with her classic menu, Marie is keeping it simple but full of flavour."

Referencing her choice of desert, it said: 'Although worried that the runny consistency of the custard won't be for everyone, Marie is dead set on sticking to her childhood favourite."

It added: "With diners and critics impressed before service, Marie is hoping this carries through after tasting - but will the simplicity of the menu be a grave mistake?'

John Whelan, chairperson of Advic, a support group for families and friends of people who have died from murder or manslaughter, said the tone of the release demonstrated disregard for those suffering the loss of a loved one.

"It's insensitive and they're trying to thinly dress it up as humour," he told the Irish Independent.

"The puns and the one-liners are a bit childish and insensitive. The 'knock-em dead' and 'grave mistake' line stood out, but the whole thing is juvenile."

He said some families of murder victims will take exception to the tone of the release.

"Will there be any references to families of people who have died on the programme? I don't know. I'll definitely be watching it to see.

"It's not the biggest thing in the world that we have to deal with in Advic, but from the perspective of families or anyone who has had dealings with Marie Cassidy and her office - it is insensitive and juvenile."

He would like TV3 to demonstrate "more awareness" when issuing press releases in the future.

Sponsor of the programme Aldi issued its own carefully worded release earlier in the afternoon.

It is understood that Aldi has no editorial control over the press releases or publicity issued by TV3.

A TV3 spokesperson said it had "no comment".

In tonight's show, Ms Cassidy will serve up a menu that includes chicken liver parfait, lobster linguini and pan seared haunch of venison.

For dessert she makes warm custard tart with toffee apple compote, or chocolate and brandy mousse with brandy snaps.

She will be judged by critics Tom Doorley and Paolo Tullio and Marco Pierre White.

Irish Independent

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