Sunday 17 December 2017

TV3 defends ‘cheerio’ chants at Shatter on Browne

Broadcaster and columnist Vincent Browne
Broadcaster and columnist Vincent Browne

Eimear Rabbitte

TV3 has defended chants of ‘cheerio' directed at former Justice Minister Alan Shatter broadcast on the Vincent Browne show.

Straight-talking host Browne attempted to tame last night's audience before comparing the jubilant reaction to a scene from the Eurovision song contest.

While admitting it got out of control, TV3 said that the late night talk show often plays host to a “people's debate” and audience members are entitled to their opinion.


When Browne asked the live audience if there was any sympathy for Shatter, chants of ‘cheerio, cheerio' emanated across the studio.

“That's not fair, that's not fair,” Browne said as the singing and clapping continued.

But the chanting continued for several seconds, making it clear that there was very little sympathy for the ex Justice Minister among the audience. “You guys should be in the Eurovision song contest,” added Browne as the credits rolled.

TV3 told the Herald that the passionate reaction is purely symptomatic of the nature of a live audience. “It's hard to control a passionate audience,” said a spokesperson for the station.

“Things can get quite heated, such is the nature of a show that goes out live. The reaction from the audience obviously reflects what the people were thinking. It is ‘The People's Debate’ after all,” added the spokesperson.

Independent MEP Marian Harkin, Independent Senator Ronan Mullen and Independent MEP candidate for the South constituency, Diarmuid O'Flynn, were among those who took part in a heated debate regarding Shatter's departure.

Senator Mullen described the reaction from the audience as “cruel”.

“I wouldn't be a fan of what Alan Shatter stands for, but it did occur to me that it was a little cruel,” Mr Mullen said. “On a human level it would be better if people didn't cheer following someone's political demise.”

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