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Pat Stacey: Amateur show was an insult to licence fee

IT'S A little late to be sending out seasonal greetings, I know, but I'd like to offer a heartfelt message to RTE: May 2011 bring upon the heads of all of you pushing the buttons and twiddling the knobs in Montrose the very worst of bad tidings.

Because that's no less than you deserve after the slop you contemptuously spewed all over our televisions screens on New Year's Eve.

And this, by the way, is not just me -- look at the internet message boards. Wake up and smell the bile. The New Year's Eve schedule was an insult to licence fee payers.

What did you offer us as the curtain-closer to 2010, a year typified by your squandering of precious public money on witless garbage like Fade Street, Livin' with Lucy and Mattie?

The All-Ireland Talent Show, a programme so old-fashioned, so parochial, so piss-poor and amateurish it barely justifies its usual slot at 6.30 on a Sunday evening.

You should be ashamed of yourselves. You won't be, of course, because RTE doesn't do shame, it does numbers. But when the next batch of Nielsen ratings comes in and reveals that half-a-million people tuned in on December 31, forget them.

Think about the half-a-million or a million or two million that were watching Jools Holland on BBC2 or Graham Norton on BBC1. We're the ones that matter.