Eyes wide open as RTÉ tempts autumn viewers

TV presenter Anna Nolan revealed yesterday how she attended a Dublin orgy, an experience she described as “an eye opener”.

Her two-part documentary, Web of Desire, which lifts the lid on Ireland’s growing underworld of internet sex and dating, is among a raft of home-produced programmes unveiled by RTÉ Television for the coming season.

“I went to an orgy — my first orgy — which is a monthly occurrence in Dublin, and chatted to people there,” said Ms Nolan.

“Of course we didn’t film there. We filmed before and afterwards. I was one of the oldest there.”

Instead of long-married, middle-aged couples, she was surprised to find “ordinary, middle-class, thirtysomethings, people with very healthy sex lives. They simply want to meet up and have sex with strangers”.

“And it’s organised by this man ... and he’s organised it for the past 10 years — and it was a little bit of an eye opener for me.”

Boy band star Shane Lynch features in another documentary, A BoyZone Wedding, a three-part observational documentary series.

It will focus on his wedding to Sheena White — the girl he left Celebrity Love Island for in 2006. The wedding will take place at Kinnity Castle, Co Offaly, on August 22.

“It’s simply myself, my fiancée, how we are as individuals, the story of how we met and the run-up to the wedding; stag nights, hen nights, and the actual main event on the day,” he said.

Former PD politician Liz O’Donnell said she was looking forward as the new face of the upcoming series of Far Away Up Close, which examines how Third World countries utilise Irish foreign aid.

The four-part series, to be shown next spring, is co-financed by RTÉ and the Department of Foreign Affairs where Ms O’Donnell was a vocal champion of the world’s poor.

Elsewhere, Podge and Rodge, the Late Late Show and Tubridy Tonight are back, Ryan Tubridy promising to “have more banter” with guests.

Announcing the new season’s programmes, RTÉ TV managing director Noel Curran said the network was holding its own against stiff competition. Public service broadcasters elsewhere saw their audiences “falling through the floor” over the past three years.

“Viewers can look forward to more home production than ever before with six new drama series, six new entertainment formats, more than 30 hours of new documentaries, as well as the best sport and acquired drama,” he said.

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