Bull Island (TV series)

Bull Island was an Irish television and radio satirical comedy show broadcast on RTÉ One and later on RTÉ Radio 1 from 1999 until 2001.

Bull Island
GenreComedy, satire
Directed byJohn O'Keogh
StarringAlan Shortt
Michael Sheridan
Frank Twomey
Elva Crowley
Deirdre O'Kane
Pakie O'Callaghan
Gary Flood
Michelle Costello
Jenny Maher
Country of originIreland
Original language(s)English
Producer(s)John Keogh
Production location(s)RTÉ Television Centre, Donnybrook, Dublin 4
Camera setupMulti-camera
Running time30 minutes
Original networkRTÉ One
Original release4 November 1999 
25 December 2001

Featuring a cast of seven Irish comedians and impressionists, the show, which aired for half an hour weekly, satirised many aspects of Irish life.

Bull Island was created by RTÉ Producer/Director John Keogh who brought Michael Sheridan, Alan Shortt & Gary Flood together to devise & co-create the format.

Some of the notable women in power at the time, such as the then Cabinet Minister, Mary O'Rourke, and the Taoiseach Bertie Ahern's partner Celia Larkin were played by a man, and there were regular depictions of deception and skulduggery in the Dáil bar. The opposition were usually portrayed as bumbling incompetents.

Other sketches included a regular pastiche of Paddy O'Gorman and his shows which consist of interviewing people at random - Bull Island's Paddy O'Gormless would do similar, but with ever more inane interviews.

A favourite sketch, which became known as the show's signature, was an impersonation of a long-running ad for Irish discount electrical retailer PowerCity, where actors looking surprisingly like those in the adverts, wearing the same bright red jumpers, would wax enthusiastic about prices ending in 99 pence in "Bull Island City". This evolved into a stream of products costing "99.99.99" as the series progressed. As a result, PowerCity removed the pence from all their prices, and regularly charge round tens or hundreds for products instead of 99s.

Although the show was met with good reviews and ratings in its first season, the reception to later seasons was mixed and the show ended in 2001, shortly before the 2002 general election. The same team appeared providing a 30-minute radio version of the programme on RTÉ radio within weeks.

Some of the actors behind some impressions include:

Bull Island was written by: Catherine Maher, Pearse Lehane, Richard Carroll, Elva Crowley, Anne Geraghty, Pakie O'Callaghan, Alan Shortt, Michael Sheridan & Gary Flood.

Produced by: John Keogh, Alan Robinson.

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