We were very happy to be invited to participate in the audience of Primetime on Oct 15th 2013 for the Primetime Budget Special. We travelled RTE by bus on the evening and were greeted by the researchers in a holding room first where we received tea and coffee and completed forms seeking our comments for the show. The room was full of large screens which showed the programme before Primetime…the 9 O’clock News. It was extremely crowded in this room and we could still see people queuing to get in even after the doors closed. They told us that the Primetime Budget Special is the most popular show of the year and we felt very lucky to participate. Anyone without a ticket that night could not get in.
Just as the News ended we were filtered into a passageway behind the seats for the show and then guided into the seats. Those people in the audience who were going to speak were seated near the gap between the seats so the interviewer could get to them easily. Some of us sat at the back and some at the front and middle seats. The first thing that hits you about the Primetime studio is just how bright it is with huge lights just above the heads of the audience with a lot of heat coming from them.
David McCoullough was presenting the show and was interviewing Interest Groups affected by the Budget. Miriam O’Callaghan was interviewing the minister for Finance Michael Noonan but the interview was coming in from the Dail studio so we did not meet them in person. It was very interesting to hear what people had to say particularly an old lady in the audience who was worried about losing her alarm if she couldn’t afford to pay her landline bill.
After the show we had an opportunity to meet the famous RTE Economist and Broadcaster George Lee who was very friendly and informative. He had been to Glenstal and said really nice things about the shool. As soon as we left and put our phones back on we were able to read texts from lots of family and friends who had seen us on the programme. It was a very interesting trip and was well worth it even if we arrived home to Glenstal at 2am!
Emmet Carey, Gearoid Fitzpatrick, Philip Albrecht, Jeffrey Blake , Cathal Redmond ( members of the 6th year Economics Class)
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