herald

Friday 15 December 2017

Can someone investigate why our cash was wasted on Crimecall gag?

Grainne Seoige and Philip Boucher Hayes present Crimecall each month on RTE One.
Grainne Seoige and Philip Boucher Hayes present Crimecall each month on RTE One.

CrimeCall presenter Philip Boucher-Hayes was the subject of an inside joke by his production crew, who recently staged a fake robbery in his presence.

They then watched him chase down a "mugger" and be interviewed by the gardai, all in an effort to test a new facial recognition system that they are introducing for identifying suspects.

They all had a good laugh at how Philip was 'punked', and that this harmless prank was all in a good cause. However, there is another way of looking at it...

Consider Boucher-Hayes' description of the incident. "I'm standing there being filmed looking at the sunrise," he said.

"I see this guy out of the corner of my eye reef a bag off a girl's shoulder and run off...I just legged it after him to grab the bag.

fake

"You can see it on YouTube and you can have a laugh yourself because what I didn't see out of the other corner of my eye was the entire CrimeCall production team and two plain clothes guards all standing there with their arms folded."

So rather than test the new equipment on a real-life case, in which the system would be put to good use, RTE and the gardai decided to set up a fake crime, involving paying actors to perform the stunt, a TV crew to attend, and two gardai to be present when, at least as concerns the last of these, you would have thought they had better things to do.

I'm glad they had a good laugh. I'm also glad that they don't consider setting up expensive, pointless in-jokes involving presenters, crews and gardai, all so that the staff of CrimeCall can slap themselves on the back for how funny they are, to be in any way a waste of licence fee money.

After all, that kind of utter waste, simply for the amusement of already well-paid RTE staff, would really a real crime worth investigating.

 

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