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When RTE decided to do Comic Relief, I’m not sure they intended the nine o'clock news to be a welcome relief from the comedy

Pat Stacey


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Comic Relief

Comic Relief

Comic Relief

"RTE can’t do comedy" is an old refrain. Actually, RTE can do comedy and has done some very fine comedy over the years: Paths to Freedom, Hardy Bucks, the unjustly overlooked – and even more unjustly cancelled – Trivia, Aprés Match and, even though it’s technically a comedy-drama, Bachelor’s Walk.

In the 1980s, of course, there was the groundbreaking, zeitgeisty Nighthawks, which at the time provided a vital shop window for the new breed of Irish comedy writers and performers.

But triumphs such as these are pitifully few and separated by long stretches of mediocrity during which you rather wished RTE wouldn’t try comedy at all.