Mar 192010

Barn Swallow in flight I got an e-mail from Cepa Giblin a few days ago. Cepa’s a fan of the Ireland’s Wildlife page that I run on Facebook, and is a producer with Crossing the Line Films.

She asked me if I’d give her latest venture a shout. It’s a wildlife series for RTÉ called Wild Journeys, which hits the screens on RTÉ One, Sunday night at 6:30pm. If you’ve seen the trailers running on RTÉ you’ll know it looks likely to be a cracking programme.

The series follows the long haul travellers of the Irish wildlife scene – from true leviathans in the form of the humpback whales and basking sharks that visit Ireland’s coasts every year, to the deceptive fragility of the beautiful painted lady butterfly – which somehow manages the mammoth journey from north Africa to Ireland.

The series will follow some of Ireland’s most iconic serial voyagers, like the Barn Swallow the Atlantic salmon and the European eel, as well as some less well known, but no less extraordinary, ones.

Here’s a summary of the wildlife feast that awaits in what promises to be a real feast not just for wildlife enthusiasts, but for everybody (taken from the CTL Films press release):

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Dec 032009

The Late Late Toy Show is an Irish institution.

That doesn’t necessarily mean it’s a good thing… just that it’s an inescapable one. As inevitable as death, taxes, corruption, tribunals and election posters, the Late Late Toy Show is one in a long list of things that parents all over the country have to suffer, but would generally prefer to avoid.

Having skilfully managed to sidestep the live airing on Friday night (the girls had friends staying over, and were so engrossed in play that they forgot about it), I thought that we might get away with it this year, but thanks to the wonders of modern technology there was no chance of that. The next day we had a family viewing of the show over the Internet. With the computer hooked up to the flat-screen telly and RTE Player streaming full-screen it was almost as "good" as viewing the live show. Lucky me!

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Dec 122008
Pat Kenny, presenter (1999-present).

Image via Wikipedia

Certain events punctuate every year, acting as temporal milestones that hammer home just how quickly time is passing us by. Birthday’s are the obvious ones – when we really can’t escape the fact that we’re adding yet another year to the clock, but there are plenty more of them.

One rolled around again last Friday night, when RTÉ broadcast the annual extravaganza that every child in Ireland waits for with bated breath as the nights close in and temperatures plummet. Yes it was time for a cosy evening in with Pat Kenny and the Late Late Toy Show. Time flies when you’re having fun, they say… so I knew this was going to be a long, long night.

We decided we’d let the girls stay up, despite the fact that The Late Late Toy Show really lives up to its name. For something designed to appeal predominantly to kids, it’s on ludicrously late, but watching the rerun on Sunday morning simply doesn’t cut it. The girls normally go to bed around eight, so by the time the signature theme tune rang out and a festively dressed Pat Kenny arrived on screen the twins were stifling yawns, and the little one was actively fighting sleep.

Pat Kenny was his usual engaging, lucid and insightful self – so within about five minutes I found myself actively fighting sleep too. The toy show is a bit different to Pat’s regular Friday night gig. For a start, when the list of interviewees consists of four- to eight-year-olds, Sarah Ferguson and a member of West Life he at least has a fighting chance of holding his own. And he managed it too… until a quick witted seven year old with a remote control walked on and got the better of him.

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