Echo Island

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Echo Island
Echo Island.png
Genre Children
Presented by Emer Duane,
Derek Mooney,
Bláthnaid Ní Chofaigh,
Carrie Crowley,
Mary Kingston,
Dara Ó Briain,
Peter O'Meara,
Danann Breathnach,
Sinéad Chaomhánach,
Christine Ní Chearraláin,
Tom O'Brannigan,
Pádraic Ó Neachtain
Country of origin Ireland
Original language(s) English, Irish
Production
Running time 30 minutes
Release
Original network RTÉ Two/Network 2 / The Den
Original release September 1994 – June 1999
Chronology
Preceded by Jo Maxi
Followed by Sting

Echo Island is an Irish television programme for children and young adults, shown on RTÉ Network 2. It was shown at 17:00 during The Den, after which programmes like The Legend of the Hidden City would air.[1] The show effectively took over from Jo Maxi, which had been aimed at the teenaged youth of Ireland.

Birth[edit]

Echo Island began broadcasting in 1994 with two episodes a week. This was extended to four episodes the following year with two of these being Irish language editions. The series ran for six seasons; in later years it proved a useful showcase for some of the best young rock bands in Ireland. Many of the presenters were chosen as they were bilingual, including Dara Ó Briain.[2]

A similar format show called Stream replaced it, splitting up each day with a different topic such as Gaming, Sports and other types of activities and did away with Echo Island's "Make and Do" and "Pet" sections. It did not air as Gaeilge (as by that stage TG4 was providing an Irish language children's service).

Presenters[edit]

Many current presenters either began, or spent part of, their early careers on Echo Island, including Derek Mooney and Bláthnaid Ní Chofaigh, Carrie Crowley, Mary Kingston, Dara Ó Briain and Peter O'Meara, Danann Breathnach, Sinéad Chaomhánach, Christine Ní Chearraláin, Tom O'Brannigan and Pádraic Ó Neachtain.[3][4][5][6]

Presenter Term of office
Emer Duane from 1994[3]
Derek Mooney from 1994[3]
Bláthnaid Ní Chofaigh 1994 - 1999[3][6]
Carrie Crowley c. 1996[4]
Mary Kingston c. 1996[4]
Dara Ó Briain c. 1996[4]
Peter O'Meara c. 1996[4]
Danann Breathnach c. 1998-1999[5][6]
Sinéad Chaomhánach c. 1998-1999[5][6]
Christine Ní Chearraláin c. 1998-1999[5][6]
Tom O'Brannigan c. 1998-1999[5][6]
Pádraic Ó Neachtain c. 1998[5]

Format[edit]

Similar in format to the BBC's Blue Peter (but with a desert island setting and design), Echo Island featured a resident Moluccan Cockatoo called Rocco, who provided the series with a constant stream of noisy background chatter.[7] Each episode was based around an interview in "The Shack" with an adult guest, who was asked to bring along some items of significance from their childhood. U.S. ambassador Jean Kennedy Smith, for instance, appeared on the 15 November 1994 episode to promote a Christmas card competition.[8] President Mary McAleese appeared on the programme on the 19 December 1997 episode, while the Australian didgeridoo player Rolf Harris was a guest on the 13 October 1998 episode.[7][9]

Competitions, items on art and cookery, fundraising campaigns, the "Echovision Song Contest" for young performers and the "Pet Clinic" where TV Vet, Pete Wedderburn, answered viewers calls about their pets were some of the features. Each Friday edition featured young "stringers" who reported from all around Ireland on events happening in their locality. This item contained an apparently live two-way video link between the presenter in studio and the children on location and was an advanced production technique in its day.

Since[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ "RTÉ Network 2". 13 February 1996. Archived from the original on 10 April 2015. 
  2. ^ "8 TV shows you weren't allowed eat your dinner in front of". The Daily Edge. 1 July 2013. Retrieved 1 July 2013. 
  3. ^ a b c d "'Echo Island' presenters (1994)". Archived from the original on 11 April 2015. 
  4. ^ a b c d e "'Echo Island' presenters (1996)". Archived from the original on 11 April 2015. 
  5. ^ a b c d e f "'Echo Island' presenters (1998)". Archived from the original on 11 April 2015. 
  6. ^ a b c d e f "'Echo Island' presenters (1999)". Archived from the original on 11 April 2015. 
  7. ^ a b "Rolf Harris on 'Echo Island' (1998)". Archived from the original on 11 April 2015. 
  8. ^ "Jean Kennedy Smith on 'Echo Island' (1994)". Archived from the original on 11 April 2015. 
  9. ^ "President McAleese on 'Echo Island' (1997)". Archived from the original on 11 April 2015. 

External links[edit]