Wednesday 22 November 2017

Christmas TV schedules a case of round up the usual suspects

John Boland

FOR a couple of weeks last May, RTE excelled itself -- if that's the term -- with its unbridled on-air grief over the sudden death of one of its favoured sons, Gerry Ryan. And now, as one of the highlights of its Christmas programming, it's set to screen the documentary 'Gerry', which will chronicle the radio host's life and career.

One trusts that it will do so with a little more perspective and balance than was managed at the time of his demise, though balance is not something readily apparent from the superlative-strewn press release announcing the station's festive fare, in which television boss Glen Killane enthuses about the "huge depth and range" that his "hugely attractive" channels will be providing for Christmas viewers.

Seekers of comedy, for instance, are promised "plenty of laughs", which will certainly make a change from what RTE normally offers in the guise of comedy. But the omens aren't good, given that some of this "plenty of laughs" will be forthcoming from seasonal editions of the reliably dire 'Wagon's Den' and 'Mattie'. Still, we're assured that "mistress of mirth" Deirdre O'Kane, "master of mayhem" Jason Byrne and "don of deadpan" Jimeoin will have us falling off the sofa.

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