RTÉ man's blushes a 'hazard of trade'
RTÉ newsreader Aengus MacGrianna's latest star turn as an unwitting internet sensation was "simply one of the hazards of the trade", he said this afternoon.
The well-known news anchor expressed disbelief at the level of interest but said he was "back to the desk as normal again today" after he was caught powdering his nose by cameras ahead of a live television news broadcast last night.
A 29-second clip was posted on YouTube showing the newsreader adjusting his tie and applying the finishing touches to his make-up before being told, via his earpiece, that his preparations were being broadcast live on RTÉ's News Now channel.
It is any newsreader's nightmare - and it appeared to take a couple of seconds for the penny to drop.
When it does, MacGrianna is clearly less than impressed and the clip ends with him saying, somewhat crossly, the solitary word “What?” to those responsible for the mix-up in the control room. It is an example of his professionalism that he did not add further to this exclamation.
The short video was posted on YouTube last night and within minutes had gone viral thanks, largely, to Twitter. In less than 12 hours it was watched almost 100,000 times, with the link being circulated widely through Twitter and various other social media channels.
However, shortly before midday today some joyless souls with the national broadcaster stepped in. The original clip disappeared and was replaced by a note saying RTÉ had insisted it be deleted because it was a breach of its copyright.
As RTÉ probably well knows, once something hilarious appears online it is almost impossible to make it go away. The misfortune of MacGrianna had been reposted on both YouTube and other video-sharing sites multiple times this morning.
It is the second time in less than two months MacGrianna has got into difficulty while reading the news.
Last month, he became somewhat tongue-tied while introducing a report on the 40th anniversary of the Apollo 17 mission. He tried to get the words out a number of times before stopping and asking whether he could go again. Unfortunately, the broadcast was live.
And unfortunately, it was also posted on YouTube, where it has been watched thousands of times.
When contacted, RTÉ defended its decision to have the original link removed from YouTube.
“We are not being Big Brother about it. Our first concern was for Aengus. It wasn’t his fault, it was a technical error and it was totally unexpected. Before we even spoke to him, we went to YouTube and asked for the link to our footage to be taken down,” a spokeswoman told The Irish Times.
“We now see that there is absolutely no malice out there and there is actually a lot of goodwill to him, and no one is being hurtful, so we are going to let it go. We are not going to give out footage to any third parties but we are not going to pursue anyone who is posting the clip online,” she said.