show blog

Monday 07 March 2011


Into the RTE vaults, for now

Thirteen shows in three weeks with two presenters for one election. It's been some run, I tell you.

The Eleventh Hour was commissioned in early January with a view to covering an election expected near the end of March. Things didn't quite turn out as they were supposed to, in that sense. A wave of concern crossed with panic doused with excitement washed across the office during the first day of the #FFheave. It had become clear we'd be on air long before we were due. Eek. But we got it done. The first night - Elaine Byrne, Eamon Dunphy and Fintan O'Toole - was a thriller and we were rolling.

It's been interesting. We tried to (wait for it) push the boundaries and (here it comes again) think outside the box when it came to picking guests and making use of technology. The aim was to (last one) incentivise you out there to want to watch and hopefully understand the election, going forward (okay, I'm done now, honest).

Considering our short run we didn't do too bad; Skype calls live to air, Twitter comments on screen, social media comments direct to the presenter, online-only bits and pieces. Much of that was developed by sections within RTÉ beyond our production team, which has our eternal gratitude. Getting 140 characters to appear in the bottom part of your telly isn't as easy as it seems; believe that.

But thanks to everyone who did comment; to all who used the #RTE11 tag; to the Facebook posters; to the people who abused us across the various 'platforms' for being (deep breath): government shills, biased against the opposition; right wing heartless hacks AND loony lefties. We tried our best to be fair to all - honest. Thanks to those who tuned in and just watched or who emailed to say they enjoyed a show. And to those who rang the office to suggest a topic or send a photo. It was fun.

The Eleventh Hour is going into the RTÉ vaults.... for the time being. We'll be leaving the political coverage to our colleagues in News and Current affairs, for now.