A View From Middle England - Conservative with a slight libertarian touch - For Christian charity and traditional belief - Free Enterprise NOT Covert Corporatism

Sunday, February 24, 2008

Dustin The Turkey plucked from six finalists to be Irish Eurosong entry!

Dustin the Turkey? I'd never heard of him until yesterday, but now not only the UK, but the rest of Europe and possibly the world will know of him. He is a children's TV puppet that is extraordinarily popular on Irish TV. Put he is probably idiosycratically so. Certain things fondly appreciated within countries do not necessarily travel beyond their boundaries. The turkey now represents Ireland in the Eurovision Song Contest in Belgrade in May.

When Ireland separated from the UK, the country went just at the time when television was becoming an invention that would eventually dominate home entertainment. The Irish Republic did not and does not, in the main, receive British TV programmes unless people live close to the border with Northern Ireland. A separation in TV land has occurred. Some years ago, the Irish politician Conor Cruise O'Brien lamented the fact that Ireland was seen as a TV backwater by some. He hoped for BBC programmes for Ireland. In this regard, the border with North and South divides television thinking, appreciation and understanding. Is the Turkey as familiar in the North? Probably not.

Dustin's vote success has divided opinion within Ireland too. Some say it is demeaning having a puppet represent your country. Others, obviously those who voted for the Turkey, think it all great fun. Watch Dustin here (including the fat lady? who's waiting to sing at the GOP Convention!). A squawky rendition of fowl singing?

RTE, the national broadcaster for Ireland, will now have to promote the bird for all they're worth unless they and the turkey get stuffed at the contest. A Serbian stuffing with nuts and spices!


You state "The Irish Republic did not and does not, in the main, receive British TV programmes unless people live close to the border with Northern Ireland"
This statement is incorrect. Most Irish people have access to BBC and UTV.
In 2007 Sky had c593,000 Cable subscribers in Republic of Ireland. In 2007 Sky DTH subscribers in Republic of Ireland numbered c497,000.
I do not agree with the voting public's decision in favour of Dustin the Turkey. I do know that it is a protest vote against block voting at the Eurovision.
In 2007 the population of the Republic of Ireland was 4.34 million

I didn't know that Sky showed much of British TV. Thanks for putting me right. Actually, if I'd thought for a moment, it would seem so in multi-channel times. The Dutch get BBC1 and 2 on cable.

My comments reflected CC O'Brien, but he was speaking some time ago!

It is not only through cable and satallite that Ireland recieves British tv. Most of Ireland can receive British terrestrial tv, if your tv can receive it. I grew up with BBC, UTV/HTV and Channel 4/S4C as much as with RTE 1 and Network 2. In the southeast you receive the Welsh channels - BBC Wales, HTV and S4C, in the rest of the country it's BBC NI, UTV and Channel 4. Channel 5 is also available in places. People in Northern Ireland can also receive all the Irish stations as well - the signals don't stop at the border! And, if you do have Sky/cable, you get the same packages and channels as in Britain, plus the Irish channels.

Eileen, thanks for your comment. I think I must have been dreaming! Of course, TV signals don't stop at borders. I'm old enough to remember listening to Radio Caroline with a metal coat hanger attached to a radiator for added reception quality!

You caught me on an off day!

However, the Turkey still has to appeal to the assembled Serbs and other European contingents.

What a bizarre view you have of us Arden! Do you thnnik we all ride around on donkeys and don't have running water as well?

No I don't! I was trying to make a point, but it was all a bit, well....!

By the way, talk (or singing) of donkeys was what some didn't like about Val Doonican's Show when he kept trotting out Delany's Donkey.

Some of us even have the internet Arden.
I've heard of someone in Dublin that has broadband and a wireless radio in their car.

Probably a doctor or something.

I'm thinking "Oh dear, what have I started?". I'm taking it all as ligh-hearted banter!

Hi Arden.
Indeed it could be light-hearted banter - or maybe you have stumbled upon the mish-mash of contradiction that is Irish national identity... Insecure and oversensitive.
PS: Is the Forest of Arden as beautiful as I have been told???

Hi, Lars, thanks for pooping by! You may be interested in this site which shows the Forest of Arden as it is today. Still quite a lot of trees in amongst the urban sprawls!


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