Fieldtrip to RTE studios

This is the story behind my so far favorite night in Dublin, maybe even the best time I’ve had this school year. Barrie Dowdall, an Irish filmmaker who is our professor (though prefers the term “film friend”) set up a field trip for the film students and himself. Last Monday he took us to a live broadcast show in RTE’s huge studio located only a few miles away from our Academic Center. 

The Frontline show hosted by Pat Kenny is basically like the Colbert Report minus the comedic element, live audience, TV personality interviews audience as well as guests he invites on the show. I’ve never heard of the guy before, but Barrie as well as the rest of the staff of Champlain Dublin says he’s one of the best known faces in Ireland, with his show being a very popular one… Barrie said he’s sort of like the Irish equivalent of Larry King or Bill O’Reilly, only he’s not 100 years old nor is he a subjective reporter.

Aaron, Colby, Sam, Eboney and Kyle with Irish TV host Pat Kenney

So we watch the live show as Barrie sits in the “green room,” relaxing with other guests. He tells us to meet him there after the show. The program ends and we all leave the studio to head to the last place we saw Barrie, after all, that would be the most logical place to find him. No luck, all the doors are locked. So we go back into the studio where a few people are milling about, and ask one of the P.A.’s where the green room is. She tells us to talk to a guard who then tells us to leave as no one is being accepted up there. Pat Kenney must have overheard this because he comes up to us, shakes our hands and says “oh no, they’re invited up there. Follow me.” So the TV show host leads us through the studio and gets us to the green room (the green room is a small room with some couches, a TV, and a bar… maybe big enough for 30 people to squeeze into. And you’re not allowed in unless you’re invited. Somehow Barrie got us invited. We head in and find Barrie there. 

The next hour or so was AWESOME. The 6 of us hang out and drink wine and Fanta while the floor manager, producers, P.A.’s and other people involved in the show are hanging out around us. Kenney comes in after a while and one of the producers brings out a b-day cake. It’s a little after midnight and the whole room (including the us American film students) join in and sing happy birthday to him. He makes a speech (apparently it was also the last night The Frontline would be aired on RTE because a new studio picked them up somehow. We then proceeded to eat his cake. Nice. While being offered champagne from him and his studio people. He hung out with us for a little while and we grabbed a picture of him, and then Barrie got taxis for all of us and we all went home a little after 1am.

-Colby Thompson

Champlain Abroad Dublin, Spring 2013

Digital Film Management Major, Champlain College, Class of 2014

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