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144

Don't Feed the Gondolas?

1. What in the name of Jaysus is DFTG?
2. What does the title mean?
3. Where did they get that Moncrieff gobshite from?
4. And what about the other fellas?
5. Wasn't there some guy on it before Dara?
6. So what do they actually do?
7. Ahascragh? Is that a real place?
8. Are those people on the vox pops actors?
9. What about that funeral party in Ahascragh? That can't have really been a funeral.
10. How much does it cost to go to a recording?
11. I sent an email to dftg@rte.ie and they never answered me. Why oh why??
12. Who are you, and why did you make this site?
13. This site is crap. Are there any other DFTG sites?
14. Where can I get DFTG on DVD?

Note: This FAQ is based mainly on the Moncrieff-O'Briain-O'Connor era.

What in the name of Jaysus is DFTG?

Don't Feed the Gondolas was a programme on RTE television. For the first three series', it was a topical news type quiz, a cross between Have I got News for you? and Never Mind the Buzzcocks. For Series 4, however, the show was more like a satirical review of the week in which they have one guest per week and they take questions from the audience. It then reverted back to a quiz show format with new team captains Des Bishop and Kevin McAleer and without Sean and Dara, and soon after passed into the next life.

What does the title mean?

The title is derived from the urban myth that basically goes something like this:
<Some organization> <somewhere> is considering ways to beautify <a local park or something like that>. <Someone> suggests they buy gondolas to put in the lake. <Some simpleton or someone who should know better> asks "Who'll feed the gondolas?"
A
person from Blessington assures me that it really did happen though. He says, "The truth behind the name is that a councillor called Jimmy Miley was attending a meeting of Wicklow County Council in his capacity as councillor. the meeting was to discuss ways of exploiting the natural beauty of Blessington Lakes. The meeting proposed putting a Gondola on the lake, at which point Councillor Miley stood up and said "That's all very well, but who's going to feed it?". The book "The GUBU File" by Damian Corless from Wolfhound Press explains more on p.16. I lived in Blessington, and remember when the Wicklow People had it on its front page."

Where did they get that Moncrieff gobshite from?

Sean An RTE film crew found Sen Moncrieff tending to sheep in Ballinasloe in Co. Galway one day, and took pity on him. He has done a few things for RTE, including What it says in the papers on Radio 1, The End, a late night show on Network 2 which was good, but they eventually stopped trying, unfortunately. He then replaced Pat Kenny's show one summer with Good Grief, Moncrieff, which was a refreshing change from the rather tamer show, Kenny Live, but it caused the RTE switchboard to be jammed with complaints, so it was done away with.

And what about the other fellas?

Dara and Brendan The two team captains are Dara O'Briain (who we'll remember from the hard-core porn show, "Echo Island") and Brendan O'Connor (Elvis/Cracker cross-breed who is a journalist in the Sunday Indo in his spare time.) Pat
Patrick McDonnell has been doing State of the Nation since Series 4. He's best known as Eoin "I have no willy" McLove from Father Ted.

Wasn't there some guy on it before Dara?

Eddie Bannon How observant you are! Indeed, the original team captains were Brendan O'Connor and Eddie Bannon. You may remember Eddie as one of "the lads" at the Lovely Girls Contest in one episode of Father Ted. Dara was Brendan's guest one week, and the next week, whadayaknow, Eddie was replaced by the wonderful Dara.

So what do they actually do?

Here's what they did for the first 3 series':
Naked chicks in the mud
You wish!

Props in the news
Each team are given two props which are a clue to a story in the news that week. The teams must guess what story.

What's going on here? / Moments in Irish History
Each team is shown a piece of videotape which is premeturely stopped, and the teams must guess what's going on, what happens next or what moment it is from Irish TV history.

State of the Nation
Each week, a tape is shown of Sean's visit to some part of the country where he asks the locals questions about topical events. The teams must guess from looking at the people what their answers will be.

60 seconds of facts
Each team has 60 seconds to complete a fact about the weeks news. They get 1 mark for a right answer, or 2 if they can get a laugh out of the dead studio audience.

The Phonecall
Over the credits at the end of a show, a tape is played of a phone call Sean made earlier in the day. The caller usually takes the form of Sean's alter ego, Monica Loolly from Ahascragh.

From series 4 on, they have kept State of the Nation (with Patrick McDonnell asking the questions), 60 seconds of facts (well, actually 90 and it's now called "Putting the World to right") and Monica Loolly. The new bits are:

Questions from the audience
At various points throughout the show, the panel will take a question from a member of the studio audience and give some smart-ass answer.

Brendan's Report
Brendan goes out and about to investigate modern life as it is lived.

Dara's bit
Dara, doing what he does best.

Ahascragh? Is that a real place?

Indeed it is. I've been there myself. It's somewhere out there, near Ballinasloe in Co. Galway. Funnily enough, as you leave the place there's a sign saying "Sln Abhaile".

Are those people on the vox pops actors?

Believeably not. If you've ever worked in any kind of customer service job, you'll know there are a lot of weirdos out there.

What about that funeral party in Ahascragh? That can't have really been a funeral.

Ah yes, you're referring to the last episode in Series 1 when Sean came across a large group of people in Ahascragh expressing their grief by getting drunk in the town and cheering at the camera. I can confirm, through my contacts in the town, that this was indeed real. Incidently, you can see a picture of the grieving party on the
Pictures Page.

How much does it cost to go to a recording?

Nothing! Tickets for most TV Shows are free.

I sent an email to dftg@rte.ie and they never answered me. Why oh why??

I don't know. Stop asking me this. I expect it's because they get shitloads of mail, and have to sift through all the "That Moncrieff fella is a big sarky bollix" e-mails in order to get to yours.

Who are you, and why did you make this site?

I'm Magluby, also known as Micheál. I made this site for a few reasons, namely:
(a) Because no one else has done a site about DFTG. (The official site doesn't count)
(b) Because I can. I have all this video grabbing equipment that I really wasn't getting enough use out of.
(c) Because I've nothing better to do.

This site is crap. Are there any other DFTG sites?

The only other testement to DFTG out there was the official site at
http://www.rte.ie/tv/dftg, which is now long gone. Bear in mind, though, that anything that was up there was probably nicked and put up here. Although there was a quite funny drinking game there which has now been lost forever!
There does seem to be some Monica Loolly sites popping up recently. Check the links page for the most recently discovered sites.

Where can I get DFTG on DVD?

Unfortunately, DFTG was never released on DVD or VHS, and as far as I know, there aren't any plans to do so. There's some related stuff on Amazon, which may be of interest, however.
Click here to see it.
 
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