Would showing a short film demonstrating how to use a condom encourage a condom mentality?
During a 'Late Late Extra' programme on the AIDS crisis, a panel discussion with members Dr Harry Crawley, Dr Derek Freedman, Ann Marie Hourihan and Fr Paul Lavelle turned to the subject of contraception, and became animated on both sides, with contributions from audience members. One man strongly disagrees with a condom being shown on television,
I have an 18 year old daughter who I wouldn’t want to see these things...if she had been in the sitting room with me last night I’d have been very embarrassed.
Dr Harry Crawley acknowledges the discomfort that older generations might feel around the subject of condoms, but is more concerned about education as part of a wider public health issue,
A lot of the embarrassment comes from the previous generation, because of the conditioning that they’ve had... it’s not just a question on the contraceptive practices, it’s a question of the total health education of people to realise what drugs do to them, how young people feel when they’re in love...we’ve got to prepare people for life on a much broader basis than just simply contraceptive practices...
Journalist Ann Marie Hourihane wonders what all the fuss is about when in practical terms, condoms are not easily available for purchase,
Fifty per cent of the chemists in this country won’t even stock condoms...they’re so difficult to get you practically have to crawl to Dublin on your hands and knees to get one.
In order to show viewers and the studio audience what a condom actually looks like, presenter Gay Byrne takes one out of its packet and holds it up for the camera, before introducing a film on the use of condoms.
This ‘Late Late Extra’ was broadcast on 15 May 1987. The presenter was Gay Byrne.
The ‘Late Late Extra’ was a recording of the end of the ‘The Late Late Show’, when the programme had come off air, but debate continued in the studio. This taped recording was then broadcast on RTÉ 2 the following night under the title ‘Late Late Extra’.
Gay Byrne, who was the programme producer as well as presenter, often felt that he had to cut short a good discussion on the show when time ran out at the end and that the show would benefit from having the option to keep the cameras rolling and continue with the debate, or wrap things up. However, he did not have permission to develop ‘The Late Late Show’ into an open-ended programme.
When ‘The Late Late Show’ was moved from Friday to Saturday nights, Muiris MacConghail, Controller of Programmes at the time, suggested adding a ‘Late Late Extra’ to each week’s programme. If a good discussion was underway in the studio, and the time came to a close, Gay Byrne would end the programme, and announce that it would be included in the ‘Late Late Extra’. This ‘Extra’ programme was broadcast on a Saturday night, with high viewership figures.
This arrangement ran from 1985 to 1987, when the ‘Late Late Extra’ was discontinued, and ‘The Late Late Show’ was given the option to be open-ended (RTE Guide 16 January 1987).