Nazis as Gaeilge and jockey hunt among TG4's autumn stories


THE SEARCH for Ireland’s “brightest prospect in the saddle” in reality contest Jockey Eile heads up TG4’s autumn schedule, as 20 young men and women compete against each other “to follow their dream of becoming a jockey”, the broadcaster revealed yesterday.

The Sunday evening show, presented by Seán Bán Breathnach and former GAA player Joe Connolly and produced by Abú Media, will feature professionals Davy Russell and Kevin Manning as mentors.

Old soap favourite Ros na Rún returns for a 17th season next Tuesday with a tale of a long-lost twin sister who arrives “to cause havoc”, while “couch-surfing” travelogue Ó Tholg go Tolg also returns, with Bláthnaid Tracey and camerawoman Laura O’Connell crashing on strangers’ couches across Europe.

The Anamnocht documentary strand includes Glaoch ón Tríú Reich, the story of the Nazi propaganda radio broadcasts made as Gaeilge during the second World War, and Cluain Tarbh, a two-part exploration of “the most misunderstood battle in Irish history”, the Battle of Clontarf.

Political comedy An Crisis, which revolves around a cross-Border Irish language organisation paralysed by bickering and inefficiency, returns as Crisis Eile.

The series, produced by Wildfire Films, will feature presenter Bláthnaid Ní Chofaigh in her first major acting role as Maeve Kelly-Clarke, the newly appointed EU commissioner for culture, heritage, multilingualism and climate action who takes on Brussels bureaucracy.

New Irish-speaking writers and directors are given the opportunity to adapt well-known stories from Irish language literature or folklore in Scéal.

Announcing the new schedule, TG4 deputy chief executive Pádhraic Ó Ciardha said there were two words that often counted among the first exchanged between two Irish speakers: “Aon scéal?” or “Have you any story?”

“Television is all about storytelling. You can dress it up or undress it, put it in HD or SD or any other D, or WD40 if you wish, but it is the story that drives the entire operation.”

Other highlights include Déanta in Éirinn, in which journalist Manchán Magan tries to do his bit for the battered economy by surviving only on goods made in Ireland.

TG4’s US imports Breaking Bad, True Blood and Gossip Girl also return.

“Like every publicly funded entity, our budgets have been cut slightly in the last couple of years, but the challenge is try and do something creative and attractive and stimulating that people will watch in an ever-competitive environment,” added Mr Ó Ciardha.