Documentaries, dramas and sport top TG4’s Autumn line-up

Irish channel announces Autumn schedule


An examination of the Mayo football “curse”, the true Billy Elliott story and a history of revered rugby stadium, Thomond Park, are just some of the highlights on TG4’s Autumn schedule.

Keeping in tune with the channel’s Irish ethos, the schedule, which was unveiled today at Dublin’s Convention Centre, includes core programmes, such as Ros na Rún, GAA Beo and Nuacht TG4.

The station’s chief executive, Pól Ó’Gallchóir, said the latest research “indicates to us that traditional television is holding up well”.

“Our Gaelic games coverage last Spring regularly attracted 200,000 viewers each Sunday,” he said. “With our documentaries, drama and music programmes regularly among our top-rated programmes too”.

Over the Autumn months, there will be exclusive live coverage of the All-Ireland Under-21 Hurling Final, the All-Ireland ladies football final, county finals, international rules tests and the AIB club provincial championships.

Laochra Gael will celebrate some of the great’s from our national sports and there will also be extensive coverage of the Irish provinces in this year’s RaboDirect Pro12 rugby competition.

TG4’s deputy chief executive, Pádhraic Ó’Ciardha, told The Irish Times that the new line-up offers a great selection of “mostly home produced content,” which would also include a lot of historical documentaries.

“We’re in the period of centenary commemorations,” he said while adding that there would be programmes on the 193 lockout, the “Forgotten 7” of 1916 and the burning of the four courts during the civil war.

Mr Ó’Ciardha said that part of the station’s unique appeal is focusing on “people rather than -isms”.

“The emphasis right through and in our news service as well is on people rather than issues,” he said. “We tend to do stories of individual people”.

Mártín Tom Sheáinín will be one host delving into the personal experiences of his guests, which include former taoiseach Brian Cowen, when his show Comhrá goes on air.

Studio guests will also discuss current issues in Irish society through a combination of reports and debate on Róisín, which is hosted by Róisín O’Hara.

“I’m really excited about the show,” she said. “I think we’ll touch on a lot of subjects that people are interested in”.

“I’m hoping to make current affairs more accessible and touch on social issues in a more engaging way”.

Other highlights include Jockey Eile, which will document 20 “wannabe” jockeys battling to become Ireland’s brightest new prospect in the saddle, and An Jig Gig, which follows hopeful traditional dance acts striving to be crowned the best, and Spillane an Fánaí, in which John Spillane embarks on a contrywide road trip.

The troubadour will be spending one week each in small towns, seeking to discover the musical inspiration behind each community’s “distinctive spirit”.

There will also be a selection of Scandinavian drama along with exclusive US dramas such as Breaking Bad, Nashville, Boss and Justified.