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Goodbye Mooney’s Money

January 17, 2015 in Culture

Derek mooneySo, back in December the news broke that Derek Mooney was leaving his mid-afternoon show on RTÉ Radio One.  Since then, Ireland’s cultural commentators have been breathless in following the dominio effect this has caused with Ray D’Arcy leaving Today FM to replace him and Anton Savage, in turn, getting D’Arcy’s old job.

Personally, I’m not too bothered about all this ‘deckchairs on the Titanic’ shuffling of Ireland’s broadcasting cards.  Mooney isn’t actually leaving RTÉ.  He will now be given free reign in his field of choice: nature programming.  So, whilst the show he fronted for the past eight years is gone, he is not.

Gone with it too is a feature which daily raised my ire: Mooney’s Money.  Each day listeners were invited to take their chance and see if they could win “€1,000 of Mooney’s Money”.  The annoying thing for me was that this game purported to be a quiz.  To take part, the listener simply had to call a premium rate number and answer the daily question.  The thing was, the question was always appallingly easy.  Examples come to mind such as “Who is the President of Ireland?” and “Kerry is located in which province?” Even better, they generally gave you two options: one correct, one laughably wrong.

As of now, this compeition’s dedicated web page is still online and features a perfect example.  Have a look here.

Others more knowledgeable in the law than I can explain the exact statute which must be obeyed but my layman’s knowledge tells me that whilst a lottery or raffle needs a specific licence, a game of skill does not.  The ‘skill’ in this case was clearly the knowledge to answer the question but when the question is generally the equivalent of being asked to declare the colour of the sky on a cloudless day surely everyone gets it right?  That being the case, if 100% of the hopeful participants in a game of skill pass ‘the test’ doesn’t that mean that the skill level is set too low?

As a final thought, consider the daily prize of €1,000.  The competition site linked to above informs players that calls would “cost €1.02 (incl VAT) and from a BT landline will cost GBP £1.02”.  The best estimate I can find is that the broadcaster would received between 40 and 50 cent per entry.  So that would mean that competition just needed somewhere in the region of 2,000 to 2,500 entries each day to break even.  In 2013’s JNLR figures, the show had an average of 225,000 listeners.

This sham quiz was probably quite the golden goose for RTÉ.  Let’s wait and see if the debut of the replacement show features a section called “D’Arcy’s Dough”…

Upcoming charity quiz hosted by the IQO

February 7, 2014 in Culture, Quizzes

IQO-table-quiz-poster-III

In today’s Western People

January 28, 2014 in Culture

Western-header

For readers who don’t live in Mayo, please click on the ‘Read the rest…’ link to see an article on yours truly, and After the Fact, written by Cróna Esler for today’s Western People newspaper.

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Listen to: They didn’t suit you

January 15, 2014 in Culture

They didn’t suit you, the radio documentary detailing my journey to last year’s European Quizzing Championships, aired last Saturday on RTÉ Radio One. If you didn’t hear it at the time, it will be repeated on Sunday next (January 19th) at 7pm on the same channel.

If that’s too analogue for you, fear not – you can listen by going to the show’s page on the RTÉ website: www.rte.ie/radio1/doconone/documentary-podcast-they-didnt-suit-you-quiz-table-john-nolan.html

Alternatively, listen right here:

Radio 1 documentary airs this weekend

January 6, 2014 in Culture

Brendan Daly listens

Brendan Daly listens

Tune in to RTÉ Radio 1 this weekend (on Saturday at 2pm and/or Sunday at 7pm) to hear the voices of Ger Slattery, Mark Henry, Dan O’Malley, Andrew Newman, Lorraine Murphy, Ronnie Swiggers, Jane Allen and a host of other quizzing luminaries speak on quizzing and the European Quizzing Championships.

They Didn’t Suit You, is the name of a documentary recorded by Brendan Daly and produced by Ronan Kelly. Brendan tagged along with myself and the Irish quizzing team both before and during last November’s Euros in Liverpool.

The resulting programme will be (I think) about 45 minutes long and will air on Saturday, January 11th, at 2pm. It will be repeated eight days later at 7pm.

For more info, and a slideshow of some very familiar photos, please check out the page on the RTÉ Doc on One mini-site.

TV3 quiz show looking for people

November 2, 2013 in Culture, Quiz Show

No, that headline doesn’t mean TV3 are launching a new show in which they hunt down missing persons.

Here’s a press release which came my way yesterday:

Would you like to witness the newest and most exhilarating quiz show on TV?

TV3’s brand new game show ‘The Lie’ is looking for audience members.

It’s the general knowledge game with no questions. All you have to do is spot ‘The Lie’!

‘The Lie’ is a brand new, exciting game show that gives contestants the chance to win big money; all they have to do is survive a nail-biting series of rounds, risking an increasing amount of cash on their ability to spot the lie.
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Tickets! Get your tickets!

September 20, 2013 in Culture, Quizzes

may-fan-ticketWorking where I do, it has been near impossible this week to find a conversation that didn’t include the word “tickets” being mentioned. As in “Any sign of a ticket?” or “I have a fella looking out for a ticket for me in Longford.” Yes, it’s an inescapable fact: Mayo will play in this weekend’s All-Ireland Football final and people round here want to go.

This explains why, on Wednesday evening: (a) your Roscommon correspondent ended up with two ticket-starved Mayo fans (and a Galway man) at a quiz in Castlebar, and (b) around 120 other people did too. The quiz was organised by Cairde Mhaigh Eo, the Mayo supporters’ club, and the star prize was two tickets to the big game for the winning team. Just two tickets? Yes. As a matter of fact, they had four tickets but the other two were only up-for-grabs via the night’s raffle.

The quiz took place in the Bosh bar in Mayo’s county town and was, on the whole, a very well-run event. Upon paying their entry fee, each team received a clear plastic folder which contained their answer book, their table number and, generously for the forgetful, a pen.

The flipside though was a couple of very annoying questions. Here are two from the first round:

  • In what year was the Berlin Wall finally demolished?
  • Which artist is commonly believed to have designed the uniform of the Swiss Guards?

Come on now, “commonly believed”? Why would anyone include those words in a question? Surely, it’s facts we’re after not hearsay? What if the quiz happened to have in attendance an expert in the field of Renaissance art who disputes the given answer (Michaelangelo, by the way) and thinks, in fact, that Piermatteo d’Amelia designed the uniform? Arguments this way lie…

The other question was even worse. Their answer, 1990, gave rise to howls of derision. The quizmistress came back on the microphone and reiterated “We did say finally demolished.” However, three of our four team have been to Berlin and, as recently as this March, seen that some of the wall still stands. So, surely, it has never been “finally” demolished, if you’re going to be pedantic about it!
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Blog awards shortlisting

September 15, 2013 in Culture, Housekeeping

blog_awards_2013_badge_shortlist12 months ago, I had one of the best nights of my year when I attended the Irish Blog Awards in the county town of Kildare.

I had some good news over the weekend as the blog has been shortlisted again this year in two categories! That’s not to say I can book my tickets yet. Unlike the Booker Prize or the Oscars, the blog awards shortlist is actually the second-last step on the selection of finalists for the big night. That list of finalists is due to be published on September 29th.

For the record, the blog has been shortlisted in Best Sport/Recreation and Best Podcast categories. The latter is a nomination for After the Fact, the show I host on Claremorris Community Radio, which is podcast each week.

Finally, the odds on my needing to get out the suit in October are further improved by the fact that Mrs TQ.net has also been shortlisted. Her fantastic site leavingcertenglish.net has made the cut in the Best Science/Education category!

Huzzah, I say!