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Saturday 10 December 2016

‘I’ve been pushing the idea for years and its day has come’ - Joe Duffy on his new television show

Joe Duffy
Joe Duffy

Having dominated Irish airwaves for years, Joe Duffy’s Liveline radio show is to be transformed into a TV series.

The new series, entitled Call Back, will revisit callers from the most memorable episodes of Joe Duffy’s Liveline show over the years.

Apparently Joe has been “pushing the idea” for ages and, after much persuasion, RTE bosses have finally commissioned a six-part series.

“I’ve been pushing the idea for few years now,” Joe explained.

“Its day has come, we’re making a six-part series. We made a pilot, showed it to the powers that be and they liked it.”

The series will feature Susie Long’s public campaign against hospital waiting lists and the repatriation of Sean Parker – a homeless Irish emigrant who was due to be buried in an unmarked grave in Kent – to Glinsk, Co Galway, to be buried near his mother’s grave.

It was also revisit that “incredible” day when a woman rang in about her elderly neighbour being scammed out of €10,000 by ‘builders’, which culminated in a car chase as the Gardai pursued the criminals.

“It’s a simple thing, people were always stopping me asking, ‘What happened?’,” Joe told Dave Fanning on RTE Radio One. 

“We have quite a few stories. Liveline is on five days a week, 51 weeks a year, 75 minutes a day, totally live. There’s an inordinate number of stories. We’re staying with personal stories. Liveline has always been and will always be about the strength of its human stories.”

Joe also chatted about his daily routine before he goes to work. The presenter (59) gets up at 6am every day to go to the gym, where he reads the papers and sets the agenda for that day’s show.

“I get up at 6am and go to the gym – with little effect,” he joked.  “If I see something in the papers while on the treadmill, I text the team.

“Liveline has a particular job to do – to get listeners to stay at the top of what RTE do every day,” he said.

RTE One is unveiling the new  autumn schedule today.

This year, RTE will place a strong emphasis on drama, with series such as Clean Break and 1916 drama Rebellion tipped to be highlights.

The Voice of Ireland will return.

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