Director rebuffs criticism over 'obnoxious' reality TV show


TV3’S DIRECTOR of programming, Ben Frow, has accused critics of Tallafornia of a lack of perspective about the programme.

The reality television show, which has just finished its first series, featured the goings-on of four men and three women who share a house in Tallaght.

It has been a ratings winner for TV3, attracting a combined peak audience of more than half a million viewers for the last episode, but it has been criticised for its explicit language and content.

Criticism reached the floor of the Seanad last week when Independent Senator David Norris described it as a “drink-sodden programme where young people are exploited”.

Mr Frow said Mr Norris was not the target audience. “For crying out loud, it was not made for him. He can watch Vincent Browne.

“I’m very happy for some people to disapprove of it, but we need to keep it in perspective. There are a lot of other programmes on TV3,” he said.

Mr Norris referred to one incident in the penultimate episode when housemate Phil Penny won a bet that he could steal 19-year-old student Nikita Murray away from an Englishman she had brought back to the house after a night out.

Mr Norris described the episode as “obnoxious” and added: “There was simulated sexual activity, leading, apparently, to full sexual activity. I wonder what values such behaviour inculcates and whether it is appropriate.”

He also wondered what would happen to the people involved if they want to get married or have children in the future.

Mr Frow said Ms Murray, who was filmed at one stage doing a lap dance, has been given “very careful” support and advice. “She’s not a stupid girl. She is smart enough to know what she is doing,” he said.