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Image: Tomás Eire/RTE via YouTube

The Angelus is staying... and it's going to cost us €20,000 to keep it

RTÉ are looking to update their “most controversial” religious programme.
May 29th 2015, 3:15 PM 36,167 175

BIG NEWS FOR fans of church bell chimes: RTÉ is taking the bold step of updating the way that the Angelus is broadcast.

The broadcaster is seeking in put from filmmakers as well as secondary and third-level students to update its self-described “most controversial” religion programme.

This new update is being brought in with a budget of €20,000.

Why are they doing this now? 

RTÉ has said that having conducted a number of straw polls, viewers are in favour of keeping its “longest-running and most watched religious programme”.

However, they are aware that the broadcast should be made “accessible to people of all faiths and none”, and that this new format is an extension of the current “quiet reflection” films that have been broadcast since 2009.

RTÉ acknowledge that while some people view the programme, “as much a part Ireland’s unique cultural identity as the harp on your passport”, others see it as an “anachronism”, and “a reminder of more homogeneously and observantly Christian time”.

With the new format it says it will attempt to reconcile these two viewpoints.

What exactly is going to change?

The new format will see one day a week being allocated as a “transient space for exhibiting new work”, similar to the fourth plinth that currently exists in London’s Trafalgar Square.

Short films that ”showcase varied and sometimes challenging new work, across a range of styles and genres” will be broadcast in the 6pm slot.

One condition that film makers will have to abide with is maintaining the chimes in their traditional 3-3-3-9 sequence, the chime pattern that the bells currently ring in – although they will be able to treat this creatively, in the same way that in one of the current televised version they can be heard “over a trawler skipper’s radio or from a distant spire.”

The broadcaster has also said that there is no reason these new short films should not reflect the cultures of “Ireland’s minority faith communities”.

Once they have all been broadcast viewers will be given a chance to vote on their favourite.

On the other six days of the week a series of six commissioned 1’15” films will be broadcast – with an additional two seasonal commissioned episodes for the Christmas period.

Read: The 18 funniest Irish YouTube videos of the last decade

Also: New U2 song begins with a sample of The Angelus

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Michael Sheils McNamee

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