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Wednesday 16 October 2019

'There's always room to improve show' - Dermot hits back

Architect Dermot Bannon. Photo: Gerry Mooney
Architect Dermot Bannon. Photo: Gerry Mooney

Architect Dermot Bannon has responded to a former RTE reporter's scathing criticism of his hit TV show Room To Improve.

Former south-east correspondent Damien Tiernan slammed the popular programme as "disgusting" and "pathetic" in an online rant.

Mr Tiernan worked with the national broadcaster for 23 years as its south-east correspondent before leaving earlier this year as part of the exit scheme.

He didn't hold back on Twitter as he criticised Room To Improve and host Dermot Bannon.

"At no time does Bannon question the morality of what he is promoting," he wrote.

"It's a complete cod of a programme that plays on people's greed, opulence and avarice. And RTE promotes it as entertainment?

"Pathetic. They should be ashamed."

Speaking on FM104, Bannon said viewers were "very aware" that they were watching an entertainment show. He added Room To Improve was about the "characters and their journey".

Criticism

However, he did admit he had been asking himself this week if they should stop making the programme following growing criticism online.

"It's a funny one because Room To Improve, if it was on in the UK, would be shown on a Thursday night for half an hour and it would go a little bit under the radar," Bannon said.

"It's managed to find its way into this Sunday night slot. It's an entertainment slot."

He continued: "If I did a €20,000 extension for someone's house and spent an hour talking through it, nobody would watch.

"It's about the characters; it's about their journey. The budgets are the budgets - I'm asking this question all week - should we just stop making it?

"There's been a bit of talk this week and people are entitled to their opinions and if somebody feels that - because I feel things about other TV programmes that nobody else sees. I'm not dissing anybody for having an opinion.

"And I'm listening to it and I always believe somewhere in all of that, there's maybe a small hint of truth or whatever, but I'm examining it and I'm asking people 'What do you think? Should we just stop making it?'."

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