Do I Hear Bells?
“SO WHAT’RE YOU DOING IN IRELAND YA FECKIN’ EEJIT?”
Well, since you asked…
I’m trying to get a hook on a good novel, writing a lot. Dawn is deeply immersed in her sabbatical studies and recharging the batteries that power her.
The folks at RTE, Irish TV, love to keep us up on the news, sports, and weather. The news is presented like it is anywhere – on a slick, high-tech set with two talking heads. A He with the proper amount of gray hair to read the teleprompter with “Gravitas,” and a She, two decades younger, attractive, and able to look truly concerned about anything on a moment’s notice.
Over here nobody is called a “Reporter,” they are all “Presenters.” A nice acknowledgement that they are just talking heads.
The guys covering Sports on TV anywhere, whether it be NFL Football in The States or Hurling and Horseracing in Ireland, are all the same – young, not dressed quite as well as The Anchor, and overly enthusiastic.
If there are any differences between TV in The States and TV in Ireland it comes with the Weather segment.
In the U.S. the Weather part of the show gets a good five minutes, if not more. In Ireland the Presenter stands in front of a green map of the island and points to various plastic stick-on Cheerful Suns, Rainy Clouds, and Wind Arrows. Frankly it looks like something you would find in an elementary school classroom. No Dueling Radar Beacons, Satellite pictures from space, or interviews with people standing next to demolished mobile homes.
Weather. Just the Weather. Is it gonna rain? Yes or No. Tomorrow’s temperatures and Good night, Drive Safe, and See You Tomorrow. Weather – in and out in 90 seconds. I like that.
From start to finish on the entire news hour on RTE – NO HAPPY TALK. No giggling or chortling, no greetings to Granny Whatsherface on her 137th birthday, no film from a fundraiser where they all played basketball while riding donkeys. Just News, Sports, and Weather.
The scheduling of the News on the RTE channel is a bit unique as well. A full News, Sports, and Weather is aired at 1 PM – the early broadcast, and the late broadcast at 9 PM, but the main Evening News comes on at 6:01 PM. At 6:00 sharp, for a full minute, “The People’s Angelus” bells toll while works of local art or scenery are shown. After the bells the Evening News begins at 6:01.
While Irish broadcasters have mimicked some aspects of American Television News they have not taken on the stupid stuff.
I like that a lot.