Republic Of Telly Primed For Screenwriting Success

cookerThe Republic Of Telly go head to head with fellow RTE show Love/Hate and Ràsai Na Gaillimhe tomorrow night at the Zebbie Awards after they were nominated by the Irish Playwrights and Screenwriters Guild.

The award which is named in honour of acclaimed American actor O. Z. Whitehead, acknowledges the best scripts written by Irish playwrights and screenwriters during the previous year.

Stuart Carolan gets the nod for the season finale of  Love/Hate series 3 while James Cotter, Dermot Whelan, Bernard O’Shea, Shane Mulvey, Jason Butler, Chris Tordoff, Damien Fox, Stephen Shields, and Luc O’Cinnseala share the nomination for the Republic of Telly Christmas Special.

Ahead of the big bash at Dublin’s Sugar Club tomorrow night, we caught up with Stephen Shields to discuss the Republic Of Telly’s nomination and ambitions for the future now that leading star Dermot Whelan has announced his departure from the hit show.


1)      What does it mean for the team to be nominated for the award?

It’s means a lot. The team work really hard each and every season to make the show really good.  Getting nominated for an award by the writers guild is a real honour. And to be up against shows like Love/hate and Ràsaì Na Gallimhe is a real thrill. Plus we are a comedy show, which is good because I think comedy writing should get credit. It’s tough making people laugh.

 2)      Is it the first time?

As far as I know it is. And as long as I have been on the show, which I think is 5 seasons now it definitely is.  It’s nice to get the nomination. Be nice to win it, but the nod from the guild is really nice too but come on who doesn’t like winning things.

3)      Are any team members up for other awards?

I’m not too sure cause you have such a great group of writers, directors, producers, comedians and performers on the team you never really know what people are doing. You have Chris Tordoff who does the Hardy Bucks who just had a great film out in the summer, a real talented guy. Damien Fox from dead cat bounce who has Discoverdale, a new film that looks awesome doing the rounds at festivals and should be hitting cinemas soon, another funny guy. Jason Butler who is one of the best film makers on the go, He’s doing film work too. Luc is running a radio station as far as I know. Shane Mulvey who is multi talented, one of the funniest guys I know, he could make any TV programme he wanted. Then you have Bernard and Dermot two of the best comedians in the country, they really know how to make people laugh. And then our Series producer James Cotter who really writes the show with Dermot.  They really should get an award for the making of the show because they work so hard. I’m surprised one of them hasn’t had a heart attack.

All in all you have so many talented people working on the show every year, you never know whose up for awards.

4)      Explain your role within the Republic Of Telly team.

I started off doing the sketches for the Real Republic segments of the show and then I started doing viewings which involves watching real bad TV and making jokes about it. If I never have to watch another episode of Fair City or Nationwide again, trust me I would be a happy man. I really enjoyed the real republic sketches I did. Personal Favourite has to be the sketch we did with Bressie pissing himself. That still gives me a chuckle.

5)      Did the team ever envision ROT becoming such a big success has it has done?

I don’t know really. It was and has always been James Cotter’s baby so you would have to ask him. But as far as I know I think anyone who worked on it knew we had something good here. The show is always evolving though. And I think that’s a good thing.

6. What does the future hold for Republic Of Telly?

Who knows. I know everyone was shocked with Dermot leaving the show, even I was a little. But he’s such a nice guy and he’s really talented that I’m sure whatever he does next will be great, be it stand up or continuing with his radio show on 98fm. But Republic Of Telly will go on as far as I know. But it’s a big seat to fill.

7. What does the future hold for you?

I’m keeping busy with a few projects that I can’t say much about. I’m always looking to do stuff with Zombies so you never know if I’ll go back to my roots. I just finished writing a few episodes of a new comedy Cartoon called Newsbag that will be out the end of the year. I’m working with a great bunch of people on the show. It’s great fun. Besides that I’ll just keep writing cause it’s what I love doing.  I’m also interested in directing a few things but I’ll keep that under the cap for now. But that’s something I would be really interested in doing.


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