The bat­tle of the early ris­ers be­gins, as RTÉ launches a new morn­ing pro­gramme

The Irish Mail on Sunday - TV Week - - YOUR TV WEEK -

Two pieces of good news this week. The first is that Keelin Shan­ley is to host a new show en­ti­tled Morn­ing Edi­tion on RTÉ One be­gin­ning at 9am to­mor­row. Ac­cord­ing to RTÉ, the twohour pro­gramme will be a ‘mix of news, sport, busi­ness, top­i­cal dis­cus­sion and en­ter­tain­ment’. It seems a brave de­ci­sion to pitch a news-heavy show against TV3’s Ire­land AM and 3e’s Morn­ing Show in a mid-morn­ing slot. For news junkies, it’s a good fit, as it be­gins just af­ter Morn­ing Ire­land on RTÉ Ra­dio One and be­fore Pat Kenny, though there will be an hour’s over­lap with Kenny. The choice of Shan­ley to front RTÉ’s first foray into break­fast tele­vi­sion is quite en­cour­ag­ing; it shows a will­ing­ness to try some­thing dif­fer­ent to what TV3 are cur­rently do­ing. Of course, if the rat­ings are poor, there’s al­ways room to shift away from news to a more fea­ture­based mag­a­zine show. Time will tell.

The sec­ond bit of good news is that a four- part drama about 007 cre­ator Ian Flem­ing has been an­nounced. The Sky At­lantic/ BBC Amer­ica co-pro­duc­tion is to star Do­minic Cooper in the lead role. The heavy-drink­ing, wom­an­is­ing Flem­ing was in many respects a real-life James Bond. Af­ter be­ing booted out of Eton, os­ten­si­bly be­cause of his fond­ness for the op­po­site sex, he con­sid­ered a bank­ing ca­reer be­fore be­ing drafted into naval in­tel­li­gence. But while he di­rected un­der­cover op­er­a­tions dur­ing the Sec­ond World War, he didn’t spend any time at the front – per­haps part of the rea­son why he pro­jected his own de­sires onto his fa­mous lit­er­ary cre­ation.

Flem­ing worked as a jour­nal­ist af­ter the war, be­fore em­bark­ing on his suc­cess­ful ca­reer as an au­thor. A heavy smoker and drinker, Flem­ing died aged 56. Bond, on the other hand, is cel­e­brat­ing his 60th birth­day this year. Casino Royale, the first novel to fea­ture 007, was pub­lished in 1953. A large part of the world – not least the cor­po­rate ver­sion – never seems to tire of Bond (es­pe­cially who­ever’s re­spon­si­ble for RTÉ Two’s week­end sched­ules). So it’s fit­ting that the real-life tale of his larg­erthan-life cre­ator will be ar­riv­ing on our screens on a sig­nif­i­cant an­niver­sary. Though he’s most def­i­nitely not ev­ery­one’s cup of tea, the manic Hec­tor Ó hEochagáin (above with Ger Lough­nane) cer­tainly man­ages to ex­ude buck­ets of en­thu­si­asm for the sub­jects he’s ad­dress­ing. In the lat­est episode of this se­ries fo­cus­ing on some colour­ful and con­tro­ver­sial Ir­ish sub­jects (so far, we’ve had the Catholic Church, Trav­ellers and coun­try mu­sic), he looks at why some of us tend to hunt as a pas­time. An in­te­gral part of ru­ral life to some, a cruel and bar­baric prac­tice to oth­ers, hunt­ing tends to pro­voke strong emo­tions in most Ir­ish peo­ple. So Hec­tor climbs into his cam­per van, on a road trip that takes him from Wicklow to Lim­er­ick, to dis­cover what it is that makes peo­ple want to chase down or shoot wild an­i­mals in their spare time. The ques­tion is: will Hec­tor end up on the side of the hound or the fox?

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