Saturday 25 May 2019

Glam TV host had religious objection to all-gay show

DANIEL McCONNELL

EXCLUSIVE

TG4'S Paisean Faisean dropped plans to do an all-gay show for its series after its host Aoife Ni Thuairisg expressed reservations about it because of her beliefs.

Ms Ni Thuairisg is a member of the Jehovah's Witnesses, who believe homosexuality is wrong. When the idea for doing an all-gay show was being considered, she brought her concerns to the producers.

While confirming that the glamorous host had said she wasn't comfortable with the idea, the producers said it was not the only reason for the show not going ahead.

The show is not made by TG4 but by an independent production company Magma Films Ltd, which said last night it intends to do an all-gay show if commissioned to do another series.

Speaking to the Sunday Independent yesterday, show producer Clodagh Freeman said: "During the course of our discussions, the idea of doing an all-gay show was brought up. Aoife made it known that because of her background doing such a show may be difficult. In the end we ran out of time and it was that reason why the show hasn't happened yet. But we would still like to do that show sometime."

The highly-popular show normally involves three boys buying clothes for a female blind date who chooses her suitor based on the clothes he picks out.

According to sources at the show, the series, which has run for three seasons, had intended doing a whole range of more ambitious shows including an all-gay show and doing a show in the US, but the plans for both were dropped. It is not clear as to whether TG4 will commission a fourth series.

In a statement yesterday to the Sunday Independent, Ms Ni Thuairisg said: "My main concern was the show, I felt the show was strong enough and didn't warrant any change to the format.

"That the idea was taken off the table along with many others doesn't mean that the show wouldn't be done or that I wouldn't be presenting it."

Aoife Ni Thuairisg was born in Inverin in Connemara and started working as a presenter on TG4 in 1997, after she did a screen test for the station. She has become something of an iconic figure in the station.

A spokesman for TG4 said yesterday that it was normal for ideas to be put around but ultimately it was a matter for the independent production company, Magma, which makes the show for TG4.

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