Nighthawks (TV series)
|Country of origin||Ireland|
|No. of series||4|
|No. of episodes||298|
|Running time||30-40 mins|
|Original channel||Network 2|
|Original run||11 October 1988 – 16 April 1992|
|Followed by||Later On 2|
The programme, which began broadcasting in the late 1980s, was a three times-weekly, late-night series. Nighthawks was produced for its first two seasons by David Blake-Knox. In its third season the series producer was Anne Enright, later to become a Booker Prize-winning novelist. In its final season, it was produced by Briain Mac Lochlainn. The Irish Film and Television Awards-nominated director Charlie McCarthy and producers David McKenna and Philip Kampf also worked on the programme. The show's signature tune was composed by Ronan Johnston. It also featured several contributory sketches from Nuala Kelly, Joe Taylor, and Orla McGovern.
An early star of the series was Northern Irish comedian Kevin McAleer, who specialised in rambling but amusing monologues to camera. The Irish actor/comedian-turned British television presenter Graham Norton also appeared on Nighthawks early in his career.
Nighthawks was produced by RTÉ Raidió Teilifís Éireann. The programme was documented in the first episode of the 2008 RTÉ television series reviewing Irish comedy, Boom! Boom! The Explosion of Irish Comedy. The Irish folk and contemporary singer Mary Black has remarked on her website on the programme's 1989 connection to her song "No Frontiers".[dead link] When RTÉ Radio issued new rate cards covering the period from 20 December 1999 until 4 June 2000, it used the term "Nighthawks" to refer to the fourteen spot nighttime packages it was making available on RTÉ 2fm.
Nighthawks was broadcast three nights per week. The regular soap opera was originally written by David Blake-Knox, and started off as a two-hander between "Hay Healy",and Tanya (the comic creation of Joanne McAteer) They were later joined by burly Russian character Boris, played by Stanley Townsend. Lots of stand-ups, comedy actors and comedy writers wrote for the show but, from the second season, the late Gerry McNamara was the chief writer and script editor. Morgan Jones, Joe Taylor and Ann-Marie Hourihane were some of the regular "company" actors. Anne Marie Hourihane also wrote a number of skecthes and presented a weekly film review. Nighthawks was devised by David Blake Knox. John Comiskey created the shooting "grammar" of the series, and Shay Healy introduced the "4" Minute" Interview.
In December 2012 a one off special called Nighthawks Rehashed was aired on RTE. The documentary took a look at the unique show that mixed comedy and current affairs with a compilation of vintage interviews from the series.
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