TV3 shows filmed on campus, DCU students work behind the scenes

By Catherine Dennehy
The Helix hosted recordings of several TV3 series throughout January as Sideline Productions filmed ‘Take Me Out’ series three and four along with the first series of ‘Alan Hughes’ Family Fortunes’.

Today FM’s Ray Foley hosted the 20 episodes of ‘Take Me Out’, which he calls the “alternative to ‘The Late Late Show’”. A 50+ strong cast of contestants joined Foley daily throughout the show’s recording, which has already opened to strong viewer figures. The opening episode drew an average 237,000, while its Friday night competitor ‘Tallafornia’ attracted only 162,000.

Casting for ‘Take Me Out’ concluded in early January, after applicants were sought from around Ireland. Producers handpicked others during nights out in Dublin. One contestant, Serena Woods, originally from California, met a producer in a nightclub.

“At first, I was a little sceptical having seen the show from last year, but I moved to Ireland to go on adventures,” she said. “I figured, why not? I knew it would at the very least make for a great story”.

Cora Murphy, who had previously taken part in TV3’s ‘Come Dine With Me’, said: “The filming is long and hard but all the girls support each other and we pull each other along as the time goes on. The best part of it is meeting new people and it’s also nice for someone to pamper you as you get your hair and make-up done everyday and you are made feel like a film star.”

‘Alan Hughes’ Family Fortunes’ is the first time the ‘Family Feud’ format has been adapted for Irish TV in its 35 year run. Morning Ireland’s Alan Hughes hosted 25 episodes of the show, mixing episodes featuring ordinary Irish families with 10 celebrity specials.

Guests included television presenter Brian Dowling, musician Sharon Shannon, weatherman Martin King, and Paddy Doherty from Channel 4’s ‘My Big Fat Gypsy Wedding’.

The celebrity teams were playing for charity, aiming to win a possible €5,000. Father Eugene O’Hagan, from singing group The Priests, competed against Amanda Brunker and her family and “both teams enjoyed the experience”.

Sideline Productions offered a number of internships to DCU students throughout filming, and several hundred free audience tickets were given to the public each day of filming.

‘Take Me Out’ airs every Friday at 9pm. ‘Alan Hughes’ Family Fortunes’ commences on Saturday, February 11th on TV3.


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