Radio l boosts comedy output through festival recordings

Some 18 half-hour programmes will be made at the Comedy Showhouse gigs in Dublin

Sean Hughes, who is to return to RTÉ for a series of the comedy panel show Don’t Quote Me!. photograph: alan betson

Sean Hughes, who is to return to RTÉ for a series of the comedy panel show Don’t Quote Me!. photograph: alan betson

 

RTÉ Radio 1 topical comedy panel show Don’t Quote Me! is returning for a six-part series as part of a total of 18 hours of new radio comedy that is being part-funded by the Broadcasting Authority of Ireland.

Hosted by Sean Hughes, two Don’t Quote Me! specials ran in December 2013 and March 2014 and the show will now return for a six-part series alongside a further 12 half-hours of radio comedy under the Comedy Showhouse banner.

Sideline Productions, which has been flexing its comedy muscles over the past few years, will produce 18 new half- hour live recordings for Radio 1 at the eight-day Comedy Showhouse festival, which takes place at the Project Arts Centre in Dublin from January 31st to February 7th.

The festival was launched with plenty of laughs and even more cake at the theatre on Monday night.

Comedy Showhouse received €85,000 from the BAI through its Sound & Vision fund and the programmes are expected to be broadcast in weekend slots on Radio 1 from March.

The grant is one of the highest awarded for a radio project from the scheme, which is funded by the licence fee.

The initiative is spearheaded by Sideline’s co-founder and creative director Billy McGrath and RTÉ’s Ann- Marie Power, editor of music and entertainment at Radio 1. Radio 1’s comedy programming is currently restricted to Callan’s Kicks and Power is keen that these new recordings will extend the offering throughout the year.

As well as Don’t Quote Me!, which will feature panellists Andrew Maxwell, Fiona Looney and Karl Spain, the festival features She’s Having a Laugh, a chat show presented by Deirdre O’Kane in which comedians dip into the archives to celebrate the funniest women to have graced Irish television and radio through the years.

The slick and surreal sketch trio Foil Arms & Hog deliver “radio-friendly material” in The Radio Shows, while in Colm O’Regan Wants a Word, the stand-up and author of the Irish Mammies series unpicks “the linguistic foibles that characterise this nation of ours”.

In Around the World on 80 Quid, Aindrias de Staic, aka Shtax, recalls a year he spent “busking, blagging, shagging, gagging, gigging, jigging, joking and banging out the songs ’n’ tunes”.

Full details and tickets are available from projectartscentre.ie.