I had an interesting experience on Sunday afternoon when I helped out in the rehearsals for RTÉs new late night politics programme - The Eleventh Hour. I had never been in a TV studio before, nor had I ever set foot on RTÉ grounds in Donnybrook. Apparently I had been invited to help out in the rehearsals because someone connected with the programme had read some of my blog posts - particularly the ones connected with Brian Cowen. My big mouth was bound to be noticed at some stage ;-).
|Still from RTÉ Player.
Everybody in RTÉ was very nice and welcoming - they put me at ease very quickly. Up until the day before I had thought that the programme was going to be a radio programme (I think my face is more suited to radio!) - it has been some time since I felt nervous like this before an event. The studio used was the one they use for the News - it was here I met presenter Daire O'Brien (who normally covers the Magners League). He was brilliant and helped me settle in very quickly. Even though the show was just a rehearsal (we did it twice) - cameras, lights, action were all in evidence. I was fascinated about how everything worked and was put together - it was all over very quickly. The RTE crew were very professional. The topic for discussion was the probable coalition between Labour and Fine Gael - I felt I answered questions I was asked well, and overall I was happy with my "performance" though I did feel I was a bit stiff.
The first real programme was broadcast on Monday evening and featured Eamon Dunphy (always good for a controversy), Fintan O'Toole, and Elaine Byrne (of TCD). It is aimed at taking some of the Vincent Browne audience from TV3. This programme will be best remembered for some non-political rather than for the political comment. Roma's cousin Iarla Mongey was on the second programme last night and gave a good account of himself.
While Sunday was just helping out with rehearsals, it would be great to be involved in the real thing and be on the real panel. However, the likes of Eamon Dunphy (and Elaine Byrne for that matter) are way out of my league and I'd be no match for them. Maybe they might be stuck for a panel some evening and come calling - I'll keep my phone on!