Friday, 20 November 2020

Colm Feiritéar
Presenter on Highland Radio

Colm Feiritéar
Aerthonnta spoke to Colm Feiritéar about the award and everything to do with the program and the station

Winner of ‘Radio Programme of the Year on Commercial Radio’ – Gradaim Chumarsáide an Oireachtais

1. You won Irish Radio Programme of the Year, tell us about that.
Ah, I was absolutely delighted to hear that. When the story broke I was elated. It’s a great source of hope and I am very proud to win the award. Especially this year with everything else that has been going on around us.

2. Tell us about your programme.
Ruaille Buaille on Highland Radio is a bit like a magazine show. We cover a very wide range of topics, such as cultural activities, language, music and some acting, drama and things like that. Anything that we can broadcast at a relatively high standard! We make links with the local schools and educational institutes that surround us here in the North. We serve those in the Irish Language Community as well as those who are learning Irish in three counties, Tyrone, Derry and Donegal. Even though it’s an Irish programme, we welcome listeners of every sort! Our show is also available online through Everything is broadcast live and all of our shows are available live on the site. As well as this, podcasts are available after the shows. Not all of the shows are available at the minute but the shows that are broadcast live are available on the show’s website.

3. How was work life during Covid 19? Does the station support you?
Well, I am at home at the minute, I haven’t been in the studio since March. But, I have a lot of pre-recorded material. I put the programme together and do the editing as you said. I put the whole show together, I am the producer and the presenter, I do the buttons in the studio. I contact the guests, whether it be a musician or someone that is coming on to speak. I do the whole thing but the other presenters in the station help me with publicity. We have a great, positive, active, lively team and they support me throughout the year.

4. Do listeners take part in the show?
I much prefer a live programme, it creates an atmosphere and I always have it in the back of my mind that we are making contact with people like we are calling into their house talking about their lives and it’s relatively informal and a bit of craic. I think that it is very important, I much prefer doing the show live, if you make a mistake, that’s normal too and it comes across as much more natural, there’s a lot more craic too! Things happen on the air that would never happen when you’re doing a recording. I feel a lot more comfortable working live, on air instead of doing things before-hand. It’s more like a conversation, tea and a chat! As you would do with one of your neighbours, call on, have a chat over a cup of tea. Things that are very informal with an emphasis on the craic, the conversation and the company!

5. The children go to the studio with you.
Yes, the oldest boys are 12 and 11 now and they’re learning bits and pieces about it, the show’s equipment and how to put it all together. It’s very good for them also.

6. How long are you working on the radio?
I started seven years ago in March, so seven years and a few months, eight or nine months. It goes by awfully fast of course. We won another prize back in 2015. We won the best commercial station in Ireland that was broadcasting through the medium of Irish and we were also nominated last year by Oireachtas na Gaeilge. But, this year was the first year my show won something of its own and I’m very proud of that and of all the recognition that we have received throughout the years.

7. If you had the opportunity to interview anyone, who would you choose?
If Ricky Gervais had a few words of Irish I would like to interview him! I have been thinking quite a lot about vocabulary books and maybe an audit of the different skills in media with tv programmes. I made some programmes last year like, ‘Is mise’ on TG4 and things for children. I would like to broaden the experience that I have with acting and I would like to publish or record vocabulary books, I think that’s what they are called. I would like to do something different, something that is linked with broadcasting.

 8. Does Ricky Gervais speak much Irish?
He has more French than Irish! But I think that it is important to have some craic on your shows, Rónán Mac Aodha Bhuí is very good at that! Jenny Greene, she has good communication with her listeners, as well as Eoghan McDermott. He has a very high standard of Irish and he uses it very naturally. He has great craic through the language and I think that is very important.

Our thanks to Colm Feiritéar.