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Breathing new life into old topics . . .

Even when the topic is hackneyed, programmes commissioned by TG4 usually manage to adopt an intriguingly offbeat approach -- the current series, Ó Tholg go Tolg, in which two young Irish women crash on the couches of various people around Europe, is a welcome departure from the standard travel-show format.

So, too, with Mo Ghrá Gael, a new dating show which eschews the leering and innuendo of most other such exercises in favour of something altogether more charming.

Muireann and Ronan, two friends from college days, select possible partners from a dating website that was devised for the series and then travel around Ireland to spend a day with their chosen date.

In this week's opener, they were in Dublin, where Ronan and Aoife met up in Dun Laoghaire and Muireann and Seanan were in Grand Canal Dock.

"I like her," Ronan said of Aoife at the end of the day. "she's an attractive girl and very interesting and clever."

It was all very low-key and really quite sweet, with no panting presenter intent on goading them into make bawdy or dismissive comments about their dates. But then again, this wasn't an RTé2 dating show.

Indo Review