April 2016

RTÉ has sold eight of its headline titles to Australian broadcasters ahead of next week’s programming fest in Cannes.

Nine Network Australia has acquired Encore Media’s Garda Down Under (6 x 30 mins), which tells the story of life on the beat for Irish officers working in Western Australia, the largest police district in the world. The WA Police Department has opened its doors to cameras for the first time and with unique and unhindered access, audiences can now follow the Irish recruits on the job and off duty as they settle in.

SBS has licenced RTÉ in-house documentary Sugar Crash (1 x 60 mins), in which weight-loss expert Dr Eva Orsmond investigates Ireland’s sugar-eating habits and explores the latest research on the health problems linked to excessive sugar consumption. Also en route for SBS is landmark documentary series 1916 (3 x 60 mins), narrated by Liam Neeson, which examines the Easter Rising and the subsequent events that led to the creation of an independent Irish state and the breakup of the British Empire.

ABC TV has bought two RTÉ in-house productions from the Irish public broadcaster’s programme sales division for its religion and ethics slot Compass. The first, The Meaning of Life (30 min episodes), sees veteran Irish radio and TV presenter Gay Byrne discuss the big questions — why am I here? Is there a God? — with public figures including Stephen Fry, Edna O’Brien, Sir Michael Parkinson, Mary Robinson, Martin Sheen and Bob Geldolf. Also addressing profound questions is ABC’s second acquisition, Pope Francis - The Sinner (1 x 52’ mins), a one off doc about how Jorge Mario Bergoglio, a self-described “sinner” who was loved and loathed by his fellow Jesuits back in Argentina, rose to become the most powerful figure in Catholicism.

Foxtel Australia has acquired the Donal Skehan-fronted Kitchen Hero: Feast (13 x 25 mins), produced by InProduction for RTÉ. In each episode, the young TV chef travels to a different location to meet three small, local and often quirky food producers. He then creates a sumptuous feast in a spectacular setting using the producers’ ingredients. Foxtel has also taken CoCo Television’s Room to Improve (13 x 52’), which brings together eight diverse design projects — from urban townhouses to collapsing cottages — and one headstrong architect in the shape of Dermot Bannon.

Edel Edwards, Head of Programme Sales said: "We have a well-established commercial history now with the Australian broadcasting community. Irish and Australian viewers share a natural affinity for similar content and this latest round of sales demonstrates that there is a real appetite for Irish content Down Under."