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Mike Murphy warns RTÉ about the dangers of 'too much news'

Murphy said there was a lot of “nervous nellies” around Donnybrook yesterday before his guest slot on Pat Kenny’s radio show over what he was going to say.

Image: Leon Farrell/Photocall Ireland!

TELEVISION PRESENTER MIKE Murphy has warned that RTÉ may be damaging the national psyche.

Speaking to his colleague Pat Kenny on Radio One yesterday, Murphy said that the broadcaster’s “blanket coverage of news and current affairs” is “too much”.

“I honestly think it is damaging the national psyche,” he said, adding that RTÉ is one of the only European channels to show an hour of news during the prime time hour of nine to ten o’clock at night.

In a more jocular tone, he quipped: “The truth of the matter is…much of the current affairs output in RTÉ – as in many other stations – is fifth rate radio on television.”

Speaking about his latest show, Masterpiece: Ireland’s Favourite Painting, Murphy said that “as a whole, RTÉ did a good job”. Previously, he had criticised programmers for scheduling the documentary “past most people’s bedtime”.

He said the competition had struck a chord with the Irish population, even beyond the programmer makers’ expectations.

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Footfall at the country’s National Galleries has gone up by about 20,000 people on this time last year, after the airing of the show.

President Michael D Higgins will announce the winner of the Masterpiece vote tonight on The Works at 10.15pm.

More: What is Ireland’s favourite painting?

Read: The 10 celebs championing ‘Ireland’s Favourite Paintings’

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