Head of Regional, Diversity, Wildlife & Education - Ray McCarthy

UPDATED: 6th July 2015


CALL FOR IDEAS: REGIONAL - RTÉ 2 2016: What It Means To Be Irish

As part of our 2016 coverage RTÉ2 is looking to commission a one off documentary (1x50') on What It Means To Be Irish (working title). This should not be a historical perspective on changing Ireland, but rather a document on contemporary Ireland in 2016 and What It Means To Be Irish today.

Brave, compelling stories, great cast, talkability and gripping content which resonates strongly with our target audience of 15 - 34, and those who think young is what we are looking for.

Budget : To a maximum of €90,000

Closing Date : Thursday 23 July 2015 (5pm, Strict Deadline)

We ask, in the first instance, that producers submit ideas into the eCommissioning system:
under the programme category "Regional - RTÉ 2 - 2016"


This department continues to support blue-chip natural history wildlife series, like the multi-award winning Secrets of The Shannon and the beautiful and engaging series, Irelands Oceans. A new series, currently in production, Irelands Wild Cities, will explore the urban aspects of Irish wildlife.

Among our other regular series emanating from the wilds of Ireland are Living The Wildlife, Tracks and Trails and the ever popular rural affairs series, Ear To The Ground.
Education has recently broadcast the multi-part Education series Class Swap, The Family Project and Building Ireland in pre-watershed slots and the acclaimed Des Bishop - Breaking China in post-watershed.

This year we've also scored notable critical successes with documentary projects like Somebody To Love, which has been sold into numerous European territories and which has scooped several awards. Close To Evil, our feature-length Holocaust documentary film garnered unanimously positive reviews and has attracted much international interest.

The global affairs series What In The World ? grows stronger and develops new audiences with every new year while we also commissioned Féile Dreams, which aired as a one-off, 25-minute ob doc last Christmas.



RTE Regional is looking for a standout series/format that is a true reflection of life beyond the M50.

Recent commissions include an observational series on Shannon Airport and Taking Care of Business which looked at regionally based businesses working with financial troubleshooters to get a roadmap out of debt.

Now that the landscape is changing, we are looking for a series that can gain a new insight into the lives of people around the country. We are looking for series with strong characters and compelling insight into life beyond the capital.

A new format could be considered or an observational documentary taking us into an organisation or grouping that we previously would not have covered. This series could play pre or post watershed.

Ideas or formats can be put into development in the first instance.

Please note that if the proposal is to be considered for the next BAI round, then proposals should be entered on ecommissioning under Regional/General category



RTÉ Diversity is looking for engaging and impactful formats that reflect the changing face of Ireland's ethnic and cultural landscape, breaking down barriers and uncovering communities.

We are looking for big bold formats which make a statement in a thought provoking and engaging manner.

It is not enough to simply profile an individual, cause, plight or ethic community.

Finding new ways of uncovering communities and gaining access is key. Secret Millionaire is an example of a format that brought the audience into a world in a new and engaging manner.

The programmes must contain a range of voices and opinions, across different backgrounds and generations, and be reflective of contemporary Ireland.

Subjects and ideas should be thought provoking with a real emphasis on outcome.

Formats that exercise change will be given priority. Can the TV format not only highlight and issue/ cause but make a real difference.

Other broadcasters have tackled this challenge with programming like Make Bradford British or Go Back to your own Country.

Please note that if the proposal is to be considered for the next BAI round, then proposals should be entered on ecommissioning under Regional/Diversity category.



Are there new programme Formats or observational series that can give a new take on the traditional Irish emigration experience?

Is there new presenting talent that can bring us new insights into the Irish experience internationally?

The potential series should be ambitious projects of scale that could only be achieved with the support of the BAI.

(Note: This department has recently commissioned an observational series on ex Irish Gardai now serving on Australian police forces)

Please note that if the proposal is to be considered for the next BAI round, then proposals should be entered on ecommissioning under Regional/International.



Last year the BAI has supported a range of Blue chip Wildlife and Natural History series on RTÉ One such as the recent critically acclaimed series Shannon series, Secrets of the Irish Landscape and Irelands Oceans. These built on the success of previous BAI supported series like the animal migration series, Wild Journeys using the latest satellite technology and The Eagles Return, chronicling the repopulation of Irelands wild areas, the Golden Eagle to Donegal and the Sea Eagle to the Kerry Coast.

The recently supported Irelands Wild Cities which will following urban wildlife for the first time in four cities across Ireland, will air next year.

We would now like to see what other distinctive Wildlife/ Natural History ideas are that there would translate into attractive propositions for our audience for 2015. We are open to projects suitable for BAI support, either series of 6 by 25 min or more ambitious 52 min series.

We would like to build on the success of the BioBlitz, live Wildlife event programming, produced by Crossing The Line, broadcast in 2013.

This event was live Wildlife event from three locations around Ireland with a catchup documentary the following Sunday.
While the option of repeating the live Bioblitz event is always there, we would like to see what other themed week options are out there.
Springwatch has worked well other channels but we would like to see what distinctively Irish ideas are out there.

There is the option to strip programming during the week with a combination of live and pre-recorded segments, as in BioBlitz. There is also the online potential for such an event and this should be indicated in the proposal.

Producers should indicate the type of challenges to be faced and how they would propose to handle them.

Producers should indicate the likely presenting talent and give an indication of potential locations.

Please note that if the proposal is to be considered for the next BAI round, then proposals should be entered on ecommissioning under Regional/Wildlife.


Farming/Rural Affairs

RTE has always been committed to Farming / Rural Affairs programming with the long established Ear To The Ground and series like Vets On Call, the recent BAI supported Hands Revisited and Building Ireland captured the rural experience and environment in a very engaging manner.

We would now like to see what ambitious Farming/Rural Affairs/Built Environment proposals that could provide distinctive additionality to the output of Ear To The Ground.

Depending on the subject and ambition, they could be half hours pre watershed series or hour long post watershed.

Please note that if the proposal is to be considered for the next BAI round, then proposals should be entered on ecommissioning under Regional/ Farming


Please note:

The discussion of, or initial interest in, a proposal does not represent a commitment to commission by RTÉ and should not be understood as such. Commissioning decisions will reflect the quality of proposals received and the scheduling priorities operating at the time. RTÉ's financial position will also be a factor.

Any proposals previously submitted to RTÉ in categories listed here, and which were rejected on a first reading in a previous Round, should not be re-submitted and will not be reconsidered.

All proposals should be submitted via our e-Commissioning system.


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