The Offaly County Council commissioned film, A Grand Experience, which aired on RTE 1 on October 16, reached an incredible audience of 565,000 people across the country.
The programme achieved an average share of 17% of TV audiences, with an average total of 210,000 viewers tuning in for the full hour. However, the total number of viewers who would have tuned in at some point across the hour - was 565,000 viewers. This was just shy of the Prime Time viewing figures of 19% of the viewing audience.
The film, which depicts the compelling journey of three artists (Eugene O’Brien, Wayne Brennan and Veronica Nicolson) on the 68M barge from Shannonharbour to Edenderry, is beautifully shot, scored and edited by Mixed Bag Media in Daingean. It will be repeated on RTE at a later date but anyone who missed it can catch it online on the RTE Player until November 6 th .
Sarah Ryder of RTE said, “RTE Arts was delighted to partner with Offaly County Council and Mixed Bag Media to bring this beautiful documentary to a national audience. This was an exceptional project and an exceptional piece of film-making which celebrates Ireland’s hidden gems and inspires us to appreciate the beauty that is all around us in our own localities. It was a pleasure to bring such a sublime hour of television to a national audience.”
Speaking of the screening, Arts Officer Sinead O’Reilly commented, “We are delighted with the viewing figures and we have been inundated with emails and phone calls from people who watched it and loved it. We are going to look at making DVD copies of it over the coming weeks as we have had lots of requests. Our intention was to convey the Grand Canal in Offaly as a place of inspiration and beauty through the arts, through the media of film, music, photography and literature. Artists have a unique way of capturing and interpreting a time and a place in a way that will continue to exist in imaginations, and we are very proud of those who made this film with us.”