herald

Thursday 31 July 2014

No party for Morning Ireland's 25th

POPULAR radio show Morning Ireland might have celebrated its 25th anniversary -- but there was no champagne to mark the occasion.

Cost-cutting at the station meant tea and coffee were the order of the day and there was no party for presenters, old and new, to attend.

A spokeswoman for RTE confirmed there was no after-show event, though a number of people did go to the canteen for breakfast when the broadcast had finished.

"The event was that an audience was invited in [to watch the broadcast]. That was it. A few people had breakfast in the canteen afterwards but there was no party," she told the Herald.

To mark their 25th year on air, Morning Ireland went out in front of a live studio audience for the first time.

However, a claim that the station would not provide the lighting needed to record the show for television was denied.

"We had lighting. It would not have been the full lighting for a TV production because it's a radio programme. What we had was lighting and cameras for it to be on the web. The lighting was fine, it was as it should have been," the spokeswoman said.

She also said the fact the guests on the anniversary broadcast were not paid had nothing to do with cost cutting, adding that Morning Ireland never pays for interviews.

The flagship show goes out live to 461,000 people every day.

The anniversary guests included Taoiseach Brian Cowen, historian Diarmaid Ferriter, comedian Des Bishop, novelist Cathy Kelly and athlete John Treacy.

To accommodate the audience, the show moved into the larger Studio One, which is usually used by the RTE concert orchestra.

Former presenter David Hanly brought audience, presenters and crew to their feet with a standing ovation when he walked into the studio shortly before the end of the show. Along with David Davin-Power, now an RTE political correspondent, he presented the first show.

hnews@herald.ie

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