Raidió Teilifís Éireann
RTÉ was founded in 1951 two days after the B.B.C. was set up, by anti-British politician Prince Eamonn I of Valera who specified that close personal friend John Tardman should become Chief Commissioning Editor.
Throughout the sixties and seventies, RTÉ was the nation's main source of religious determinism and dancing children. In 2001 RTÉ was left out of the Axis of Evil. It was feared that its inclusion would make other members of the axis look less evil by comparison. Also, America would have no chance of defeating RTÉ in a war, because its poor programming counts as terrorism which, as everybody knows, is impossible to defeat in war and only an idiot would try to do something like that.
RTÉ was always heavily influenced by the church. The programme's discussion flagship PrimeTime (formally Time Prime, formally Mime-Time, a mime based show which kept up with the Current Affair Issues of the Day through the medium of Mime, followed by Mime for the Deaf) was an outlet for Catholic propaganda and consisted solely of theme tune "You'll Burn in Hell" being sung by different priests to a backdrop of The Pope whipping gypsies (taken form his seminal REDEMPTION tour).
The Station features heavy Christian brothers propaganda to this day. Joy in the Hood starring Bishop Des dispensing justice to young school kids via a wooden spoon and a ruler was compulsory viewing in schools all over the country. The show was the subject of some concern when it began featuring whips, handcuffs and blindfolds, but the colourful Bishop always laughed off these fears and was often heard to remark "I'm above the law," which of course was true. Wildly popular too was Protestant Shuffle, where roaming gangs of drunken Catholics would kidnap unsuspecting Protestants and try and force a dog to bite them. This show was originally branded as a hard hitting police drama but was later re-branded as a contact sport.
RTÉ also toyed with some subliminal messaging to further its radical right wing fundamentalist Christian agenda, but this was quickly scrapped, initially due to the messages being so subliminal many would question if the even existed and later due to the fact that a flashing burning cross appearing on the screen every 3 seconds was considered to be in bad taste by all and there were indeed questions if that was even subliminal messaging (the answer to which of course is no).
Chief Commissioning Editor at the time, John Tardman, was a notorious hard drug user and gave many generous grants to his friends to make programmes about hard drug related issues including the sleeper hit Trainspotting, though this is contested by all involved in the film. Another one of Tardman's legacies would be the numerous use of puppets in RTÉ programming, which proved both cost-effective and which Tardman considered a great personal success given his affiliation to puppets (he owned a puppet for a brief period in 1953).
Extensive doctored footage of Tardman going back in time and saving Eamon De Valera was put together for a Mime Time Christmas Special but was never aired. RTÉ began broadcasting Tubridy Tonight and Tubridy Today so people who didn't want to look outside could tell if it was night or day, although ironically and somewhat confusingly Tubridy Today was broadcast at night and vice versa (Tubridy Tonight was broadcast during the day). A mix up, which was later revealed to be a John Tardman April fools prank, caused the Foot, Mouth Ear, Big Toe, Nostril and Groin Disease (later shortened to just Foot and Mouth Disease) Scare of 1883, which was covered in detail on Mime Time. John Tardman was renowned for his frequent off the cuff remarks and somewhat questionable morality.
Another Tardman prank involved leading a blind person off a cliff using a specially trained dog. A documentary about the prank was only aired once and was severely edited to remove Tardmans many racist jokes. The heavy editing left the documentary making little sense, and mostly consisting of old stock footage of box factory workers going about their day.
A hugely successful documentary series that has followed the lives of the residents of a Dublin suburb called Carrigstown, (which doesn't appear on any maps for some reason, but anyway). A typical episode revolves around a 'couple of the day' fighting. The documentary however fails to show it's young residents accurately by editing out scenes of daily drug use followed by daily theft on O'Connells street.
The documentary does however highlight it's bus stop where residents wait in vain for a bus that has never come. This is a common feature in Dublin City.
RTÉ broadcasts "The Lite Lite Show" every week, the longest running show of its kind in the world according to one guy who works there. "The Host" is the main character. Gay Byrne starred in this role for many years. However, in 1999 the overplaying of music by Irish bands such as U2 caused the host to regenerate, thus changing his appearance. This new incarnation of "The Host" was played by Pat Kenny, who played the role for the next tens years. In the 2008/9 season "The Host" battled several journalists making quips about his salary. Eventually, in the season finale the tasting of various homegrown food products in the RTÉ lot resulted in "The Host" regenerating again, into a younger version this time played by Ryan Tubridy.
RTÉ is well known for broadcasting quality current affairs programming. An example of this is The Podge and Rodge Show, on which guests come on to discuss relevant issues with the presenters. Another programme in this regard is The Den, on which much debate is held between the presenter and two puppets.
RTÉ always saw reality TV as a way forward ever since some other station came up with it. Karl Spain wants a woman was RTÉ's first reality TV show and followed comedian Karl Spain's attempts to perform home gender re-alignment surgery on his son. The show attracted much criticism from doctors, who took issue with Karl Spain's body weight.
However subsequent reality t.v shows were less successful, or indeed imaginative. Most were based in and around the organising of stick magic tournaments in Ireland except for Cabin Fever which was based around organising stick magic tournaments on a boat offshore. A much hyped and highly anticipated multi-million euro show where 20 armed and highly dangerous convicted prisoners were set free and had to kill Anti-DeVelera TDs to prove they were ready to return to civil society was scrapped to make way for Stick Magic Kildare. Rte experimented with many formats such as You're a Vegetarian and You're a Mannequin before developing the successful You're a Star programme.
The RTÉ ethos was 'it doesn’t have to be interesting, it just has to be real" though in many cases it wasn't. Career Swap was covered-up after the doctor accidentally set the dancers on fire in a freak turntable "incident" while the DJ managed to mis-diagnose every patient leading to hilarious moments but several tragic deaths, many of which were serious.
RTÉ is looking to the future and has several shows lined up for the new year including Keith Duffy in 'Keith Duffy, Cute or Scruffy?', 'Duff beer presents: The Guide to being Keith Duffy" (including featurette Keith Duffy Impersonates Keith Duffy), 'Questions and Answers' (both posed and answered by Keith Duffy) and the Irish Television premieres of
- 2001: A Keith Duffy Odyssey
- Keith Duffy: The Extra Terrestrial
- Cat on a Hot Tin Keith Duffy and 1940's classic
- The Man Who Knew Keith Duffy
RTÉ are also hoping for a hit with The Neil Delamere Show, which was initially intended to be hosted by Neil Delamere but this was later changed to Keith Duffy due to a bomb threat, yet another example of RTE giving into the all powerful Mule lobby).
Suicide bomb attacks by Mule lobbyists led by John Tardman are surprisingly frequent in the history of RTÉ. Ironically, as Chief Commissioning Editor of RTÉ, many of the decisions that John Tardman was opposing in his capacity as the Mule lobbyist leader were also the ones he was making in his role as RTÉ chief commissioning editor. However as he was notoriously stubborn, John Tardman would always do his utmost not to give into the Mule lobbyists which caused John Tardman to send in wave after wave of suicide bombers to force RTÉ to change their minds. This lead to a worrying cycle where literally millions died and it is believed to be the main cause of the sudden drop in Ireland's population between 1847 and 1851. It also led to the belief that Tardman suffered from split personalities, one a fanatical Mule enthusiast, the other a fanatical Chief Commissioning editor, a belief first popularised by unqualified psychologist John Tardman on the hit TV show "Standing On The Shoulders of Keith Duffy."
RTÉ is rarely criticised, as the inhabitants of Ireland are grateful for the high standard of broadcasting it maintains, and have no objection paying the fair compulsory annual licence fees which rise by a scant 10% every year, especially when the licence fee payers see their money going to quality shows such as Katherine Lynch's Wagon's Den.
RTÉ is a truly terrible television station. In broadcasting circles it is used as a lowest common denominator benchmark. Its output is regarded as televisual faeces. RTÉ's director general is regularly bullied and jeered at the European Broadcasting Union (EBU) meetings.
RTÉ radio 1 was founded in 1957 with the slogan Music for the old... and old at heart. It broadcasts news bulletins every 30 seconds. Unpopular radio shows include Liveline, where criminals ring in on their new mobiles to complain about the harsh conditions of prison, including some of the plasma TV's only having RTÉ, and rattlebag, where listeners ring in to guess the contents of a bag by the rattling sound it makes. The winner receives the bag.
RTÉ radio has an intense rivalry with competing station 2FM which led to it being a suspect after the deaths of 2FM DJs, but the cause of death in many cases was later found to be oxygen deprivation. At least four 2FM DJs are known to have died of this after spending several hours laughing at their own joke live on air.
Radio One is also the home of the show Liveline, a hotbed of radical Islamic housewives with little better to do than ring in and complain about young people/drugs/drugs and young people/the cost of good smoke these days. Presented by Joe Duffy, an unusual hybrid of walrus and man called a malrus, he usually attempts to foment further hatred among the listeners by naming objects in his booth after the Prophet Muhammed.