Tuesday 24 October 2017

RTE to launch major review in production blunders at IFTAs

Laura Whitmore
Laura Whitmore
Missy and Yvonne Keating on the red carpe
Michael Fassbender
Eva Birthistle
Jamie Dornan
Kathryn Thomas Photo: Tony Gavin
The Irish Film & Television Academy awards 2014 (IFTA) at DoubleTree by Hilton Dublin Hotel, Dublin, Ireland - 05.04.14. Pictures: G. McDonnell / Cathal Burke / VIPIRELAND.COM *** Local Caption *** Amy Huberman & brother Paul Huberman

Melanie Finn Showbiz Editor

RTE will be launching a major review into the production blunders at this year's IFTA's, the Herald can reveal.

Poor sound quality, a bad script and an embarrassing selfie saw the event branded a “cringe-fest”.

Although it's aimed at honouring the best in the industry, the TV programme itself came in for a barrage of criticism.

As well as some shaky camera shots, the sound quality gradually worsened throughout the course of the show.

The sound of food being scraped off dinner plates and the clatter of cutlery drowned out speeches.

By the time Jeremy Irons accepted his wife's award for Best Supporting Actress in The Sea, he had to nearly shout to be heard over the background noise.


The show ran over by 25 minutes, throwing the RTE schedule into chaos.

A spokeswoman for RTE said that it was an IFTA-produced event but they were aware there were some issues with the programme.

“We are aware that there were technical issues and we will be reviewing those issues within the coming days. We do that with any big event,” she said.

She added that there were 700 people in the room at the time and there would invariably be background noise carrying over into the broadcast.

The show was due to be repeated yesterday but had to be replaced by a movie as it ran over by 25 minutes.

One of the winners hit out at the unavailability of the €302 tickets, blaming “RTE hangers-on”.

Oonagh Smyth, who picked up the Current Affairs award for her work on the acclaimed crèche expose, was booed for part of her acceptance speech. However, she was commended on social networking sites for her straight-talking stance. A reporter with the RTE Investigations Unit, she said: “I would like to thank our editor Paul Maguire who should be here tonight but there were no tickets because, I think, too many RTE hangers-on got them.

“But anyway, he should be here. He was our rock and it was his brainchild this programme, so thank you so much Paul.”

Viewers also took to Twitter to express their frustration with the programme, which seemed to be plagued with a litany of production problems.

Presenting duo Simon Delaney and Laura Whitmore also came in for criticism for their lack of chemistry and their poor script.

Many of the jokes fell flat with the audience as the pair struggled to keep the attendees' attention until all 41 awards were dished out. One attendee said: “One of the problems was that no one got any food until well after 11pm. People were starving and empty stomachs and free booze just don't mix. People were getting really drunk and barely paying attention. By the end of the night, you could barely hear the presenters or the winners as the noise level was so loud.”


Some guests themselves took to Twitter to complain about the delay waiting for their meal. Publisher and presenter Norah Casey pointed out the lack of food for guests, saying: “OK if they don't feed people soon, I fear for Jamie Dornan. Lots of hungry gals here.”

A spokeswoman for the IFTAs said: “Over the past 11 years IFTA has produced superb award ceremonies, which are amongst the highest rated shows in Ireland.

“However there were, unfortunately, technical issues in the room at this year’s ceremony with regards to sound production across the outside broadcast of the show. Acoustics in the room created difficulties and technical delays caused a knock-on effect to the evening’s schedule.”

Irish Independent

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