There has been a mixed reaction to the news that RTÉ is outsourcing all of its TV programming for young people to independent production companies.
While former Den presenter Ian Dempsey said it was not the “end of the world”, many others described it as “sad” and even “heartbreaking”.
A statement from the national broadcaster said that the decision was made because of the “challenging financial environment”.
The RTÉ Trade Union Group has demanded a reversal of the decision.
Broadcaster Ray D’Arcy, on his RTÉ radio show yesterday, admitted to “not knowing what to think” while interviewing Dustin about the news.
Dustin described the news as “heartbreaking”.
“It’s heartbreaking in a way,” said Dustin.
He then emphasised the importance of homegrown TV for Irish children.
“Irish kids need to watch Irish TV,” he said. “Irish children should still be watching Irish television.”
Meanwhile, Dustin’s former colleague and Today FM presenter Ian Dempsey said the news did not signal the end of the world.
“I don’t think it’s the end of the world. It’s probably quite an efficient way to run a department,” he said.
“There are many brilliant independent production companies out there chomping at the bit with great new modern ideas and progressive work practices.
“I just hope that new presenters are given the space to be nurtured and developed into superstars like Ray D’Arcy!”
Paula Lambert, who was involved in many Irish TV shows for children including being the voice of Bosco, called the news sad.
“It’s kind of sad, there were some amazing people in that department over the years. It’s just sad. Those people did work very hard”, said the puppeteer, who runs the Paula Lambert Puppet Theatre.
The Lambert Puppet Theatre, which was founded in 1972 by the man behind Wanderly Wagon and Murphy agus a Chairde (Paula’s father Eugene) also greeted the news with sadness.
“I think it’s very sad that our national broadcaster isn’t going to be creating content for children,” said a spokesperson from the company. “It’s very important that there is content for Irish children.”
© Irish Examiner Ltd. All rights reserved