herald

Monday 24 November 2014

RTE and TV3 don't nurture Irish talent, says producer Larry

TV producer Larry Bass has criticised both RTE and TV3 saying that they are failing to give Irish presenters the direction they need.

Neither TV3 or RTE have departments dedicated to managing talent, something which Bass, who is one of the country's most successful TV producers, describes as crucial.

"I've always said it -- talent doesn't just happen," Bass said.

"Talent doesn't grow on trees, it has to be nurtured. Presenters need to have a definite career path mapped out for them.



Football

"When I worked in the music industry, you had talent departments," Bass explains. "And people guided and brought stars through a set career path. Bigger international broadcasters still do that.

"Presenters were developed in a similar way to a football team. Like the way Alex Ferguson will bring a new player into the fold -- gradually, slowly and considered. Build them up and integrate them into the squad and then they'll find their feet."

A highly respected producer, Bass is the CEO of Screentime ShinAwil, who produce some of Ireland's biggest TV shows including The Voice and Dragon's Den.

Before moving into TV, Bass worked as a music promoter.

He thinks that The Voice host Eoghan McDermott is one of the most underrated presenters on RTE's books. "I think he's intelligent and likeable and will be hugely successful."

In fact, Bass believes that McDermott could singlehandedly turn around the fortunes of 2fm, which has suffered a serious fall in ratings since the death of DJ Gerry Ryan.

"If I was inside RTE the first thing I would do is get Eoghan on 2fm," he says.

"If you want to fix 2fm that's the type of thing you should do. I don't necessarily think you should get rid of Ryan Tubridy, but I think you need that young fresh blood."

He also cited Brian Ormond as one of the country's most underrated TV personalities, comparing him to broadcasting legend Bruce Forsyth.

"I think Brian Ormond is a great presenter. If he was given more opportunities he would have a huge, huge career.



Grannies

"It's so rare that someone can command the attention of grannies and the kids. Brian could have a career as long as Bruce Forsyth if he was managed and guided in the right way."

Bass says that the only person offering anything close to a managerial service is celebrity agent Noel Kelly.

Overall, however, Bass says we have a wealth of talented people working both in front and behind the scenes.

"We've always had strong presenting talent; Terry Wogan and Eamon Andrews. It's the blarney, we're storytellers. We can get away with it."

hnews@herald.ie

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