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Aidan Gillen stars in the new drama series Kin.
Aidan Gillen stars in the new drama series Kin.
Image: RTÉ

A gangland series, a new Sally Rooney drama and a karaoke gameshow: RTÉ's new season announced

RTÉ launched its new season, promising a focus on championing new Irish talent.
Aug 18th 2021, 1:18 PM 32,823 22

RTÉ IS PROMISING some gritty dramas, touching documentaries and a karaoke-inspired gameshow this Autumn as it launches its new season of programming today.

The broadcaster said it has a focus on championing new Irish talent and the upcoming season will “showcase new and alternative voices across entertainment, drama and sport”.

Highlights include a new eight-part Irish crime drama called Kin, with a cast that includes Charlie Cox, Clare Dunne, Aidan Gillen, Ciaran Hinds, Maria Doyle Kennedy, Sam Keeley, Emmet J Scanlan and Yasmin Seky.

The series focuses on the family of a boy who is killed – they embark on a gangland war with an international cartel. The Kinsella family, out-numbered, out-financed and out-gunned find themselves holed up in their Dublin stronghold while their businesses fail, and family members and associates are picked off.

This season RTÉ will also air a new drama mystery series called Harry Wild which centres on a recently retired English professor who takes an interest in the criminal cases assigned to her police detective son.

Filmed in Dublin earlier this year, the drama stars Jane Seymour, who was also executive producer of the eight-episode series.

There will be a number of RTÉ co-productions, including comedy-drama series The Dry written by Nancy Harris and Conversations with Friends based on the book by Sally Rooney (author of Normal People). 

On the entertainment side, Saturday highlights will include Last Singer Standing, hosted by Nicky Byrne, a new format karaoke-inspired game show where singers from around Ireland compete to win a €25,000 prize.

Pop superstars Nadine Coyle, Joey Fatone and Samantha Mumba will be joining the show as panelists.

Also new for Saturday nights is Angela Scanlon’s Ask Me Anything, in which Angela chats with guests who have agreed to be asked about absolutely anything.

Love Island’s Maura Higgins makes an appearance in the Autumn line-up, with Glow Up Ireland which will see amateur make-up artists competing against one another.

A tough task faces participants in Hell Week – The Professionals, as 18 of Ireland’s fittest from the world of sport and entertainment take on a gruelling challenge that has a 90% failure rate. 

The season also promises the usual favourites like The Late Late Show – celebrating 60 years – a new season of The Tommy Tiernan Show and Today with Maura and Dáithí – celebrating 10 years.

RTÉ’s factual series and documentaries include a documentary on the late Keelin Shanley, a programme called Cocooned which looks at how our older generation lived during the earlier stages of the Covid pandemic and Ireland’s Dirty Laundry, which hears from those who worked in the Magdalene Laundries. 

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The broadcaster will have a selection of free-to-air sport available to audiences in Ireland, across TV, radio, and online with highlights including Six Nations, GAA club championships, Champions League, men’s and women’s World Cup qualifiers, Autumn Internationals, FAI Cup, SSE Airtricity league, and horse racing.

Speaking at the launch, RTÉ Director General Dee Forbes said:

“We aspire to be the home of quality Irish drama, seek to nurture and support Irish creative talent and we’re serious about the development of new voices and new writing as we aim to give space to the diversity of communities living in Ireland and hear your stories.”

She said from a recent public survey RTÉ knows that the audience wants a sustainable public service media “so they can continue to benefit from world class, independent journalism, from free to our sport, and from programmes in their own language”.

“Audiences in Ireland should be able to see themselves on screen, hear themselves on air, and read about their experiences online, and that is at the heart of RTÉ’s mandate,” she said.

“It is what makes RTÉ distinctive from Netflix, Amazon and Disney, from Spotify and Apple. And it’s why the future of public service media is so important to Ireland.”

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Michelle Hennessy

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