Ryantown

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Ryantown
Genre Light entertainment
Presented by Gerry Ryan
Starring Brenda Donoghue
Country of origin Ireland
Original language(s) English
No. of series 1
No. of episodes 25
Production
Producer(s) Julie Parsons
Location(s) Studio 1, RTÉ Television Centre, Donnybrook, Dublin 4, Ireland
Running time 50-55 minutes
Distributor RTÉ
Release
Original network RTÉ One
Original release 2 October 1993 (1993-10-02) – -1 April 1994 (1994-04--1)
Chronology
Related shows Secrets (1990-1993)

Ryantown was an RTÉ Television light entertainment show hosted by Gerry Ryan that was broadcast on Saturday evenings for one season between 1993 and 1994. It was set in Gerry Ryan's house in the fictional Ryantown. The show was broadcast during the autumn-spring season.

History[edit]

Following on from an earlier Saturday night show Secrets, RTÉ devised a new vehicle for Gerry Ryan. The target audience for Ryantown was teenagers and twenty-somethings. Producer Julie Parsons described it as a "family show" set in a house in which "neighbours drop in and people sit around and cook and watch TV" with the TV content being provided by Ryantown News, with its anchor Reggie Ryan, Gerry Ryan’s "twin brother." Each week a real couple’s wedding video was featured and Brendan Donoghue did surprise outside broadcasts. The show was described as Secrets 2 and a mixture of Noel's House Party and The Big Breakfast.

Production[edit]

Ryantown was broadcast on RTÉ One on Saturday evenings from 7:05 p.m. to 8:00 p.m. The show was recorded on the previous Tuesday before broadcast in Studio 1 in the RTÉ Television Centre at Donnybrook, Dublin 4.

Criticism[edit]

Described as a "dog's dinner" and derided as "the low-point of Gerry Ryan's TV career which has never hit the heights", the show's main running gag was that Ryan had a disobedient dog. Brenda Donoghue would arrive on the doorsteps of householders with a roving camera and there was also an identity parade dubbed "Who's Married to Who?". Ryantown was named thereafter as one of the "Top 10 Worst Irish TV Programmes" by the Irish Independent and Ryan was later to admit that it was all horribly "half-baked" and "should have been taken off the air after a few shows". .[1]

The presenter describes Ryantown as "the worst television experience I've ever had in my entire life", with producer Julie Parsons (who had previously worked on The Gay Byrne Hour) nearly having a nervous breakdown, according to Ryan. He described RTÉ as "extremely unhelpful".

"Suggestions would arrive at our production meetings: maybe Gerry should wear a hat. Maybe Gerry should sit down. Maybe Gerry should run around more." [2]

Ryan unsuccessfully pleaded with RTÉ to cancel midway through the series.

References[edit]

  1. ^ "The worst Irish TV shows EVER!". Irish Independent. 2006-10-28. Retrieved 2008-11-16. 
  2. ^ Ryan, Gerry. Would the Real Gerry Ryan Please Stand Up (Penguin Ireland, 2008). First published in the The Irish Mail on Sunday, 12 October 2008, p.36