The travel quiz show that you pay for . . .
Good news for all you cash-strapped viewers out there: RTE has found an alternative way of subsidising its programmes, which means that it won't be needing your licence fee any longer.
Or so I infer from the new Sunday night primetime inter-active show, HQ: The Holiday Quiz (RTE1), which not just gives a half-hour of non-stop free advertising to its sponsor but also extracts from the viewer the cost of making the show.
Here's how it works. Presenter Sean Moncrieff and a camera crew travel to a holiday location and throughout the show 10 questions about the location are flashed up on screen, each featuring three possible answers. These questions aren't difficult because Moncrieff has just provided the correct answer in his narration. The viewer sits there with his or her mobile phone in message mode and simply enters A, B or C for each answer. At the end of the show he or she texts the completed list of answers to a special number. At the end of the show the correct entries are put into a draw, from which the lucky winner is announced after the 9 o'clock news.