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RTE needs to splash cash on homegrown talent - Baz

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Baz Ashmawy and his mum Nancy.

Baz Ashmawy and his mum Nancy.

Baz Ashmawy and his mum Nancy.

TV star Baz Ashmawy has blasted RTE for not investing enough in Irish talent.

The former 2FM presenter said he was left with no option but to jump ship to Sky TV with his new show due to a lack of opportunities in Ireland.

"If RTE say, 'Sorry, there's no budget for you, well what do you do? Where do you go?

"There's so much talent here and only so many shows get made," he said.

"And then all of a sudden, Sky come over and they're like 'We want Irish talent' and I'm like, 'Well, I am Irish talent'.

The part-Egyptian star added: "You need an avenue, someone to believe in you and invest in your ideas.

"I'm not saying RTE don't but I think they've a different attitude.

"You've got to invest in Irish talent and there's so much here and I feel it can be hard for young talent."

The former How Low Can You Go presenter and producer said he didn't even pitch his idea to RTE, opting instead to go for a "major player".

Baz said that he was feeling down about the options available to him in Ireland.

"It was at a stage where I was a little bit low and a little bit unsure about the kind of stuff I was doing," he said.

"I didn't know what I wanted to do and I wanted to do something that you sit down with your kids to watch.

"I had a meeting in London with Sky and I met with Siobhan Mulholland and a guy called Stuart Murphy and it was the first time in a long time that they got me really, really excited about telly again."

They urged him to "think big" with his new show - and he devised 50 Ways to Kill Your Mammy as a result.

His new programme, which goes out on August 25, sees him joining forces with his 71-year-old mum Nancy, as they travel around the world.

Sharks
The adventurous pair did everything from zip-lining to swimming with sharks in South Africa.

But he admits he had a massive moment of self-doubt where he wondered if he had gone too far when it came to doing a sky-dive.

"I just started to panic a bit," he said.

"That was the first and last time I thought, 'I'm not sure what we're doing here is right and who's crazy here? Mum for doing it or me for letting her do it?'

"Afterwards, I was so proud of her. I've friends that wouldn't do it."

mfinn@herald.ie


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