Belfast Telegraph

Saturday 10 October 2015

RTE Guide turns Queen's Christmas speech into a 'lecture'

By Cormac McQuinn

Published 20/12/2012

Queen Elizabeth II's speech will be broadcast at 3pm on Christmas Day
Queen Elizabeth II's speech will be broadcast at 3pm on Christmas Day

The bumper Christmas edition of the 'RTE Guide' has made a faux pas of majestic proportions with an apparent jibe about that treasured British institution, the Queen's speech.

Irish viewers scouring the RTE TV-listings bible, to see when Queen Elizabeth II will be addressing her nation on Christmas Day, are being greeted with a-less-than respectful description of our nearest neighbour's head of state's annual post-turkey and sprouts message.

The discovery that the 'RTE Guide's' listings describes the queen's BBC One address as "The British monarch lectures her subjects", quickly went viral on Twitter and other social media websites.

An RTE spokesman appeared to blame the French for the blunder – or at least, an Irish-owned editing company operating in France.

But the managing director of Presse Media 81, which provides the listings for the 'RTE Guide', said it was an unfortunate error.

Julian Kindness told the Irish Independent: "It was very straightforward and an innocuous but unfortunate use of the word 'lectures'."

"In hindsight", he added: "'addresses' would have been more appropriate.

"There was no political slight, no malice intended, no smart-arsed sub-context or attempt to sneak in a Christmas howler.

"The listings editor used 'lecture' not meaning 'giving out to', but meaning 'giving a lecture', like delivering a university lecture. It was a straightforward, unfortunate use of the word."

Asked why the 'RTE Guide' lists the same speech on UTV in more reverent terms as "The British Queen delivers her message", he said: "We go to quite some lengths to make sure there isn't repetition even though the same programme may be shown on different channels at the same time."

He said that RTE were seeing the blunder "as what it was, a genuine error."

The queen referenced the Republic in her speech last year, saying: "Relationships that years ago were once so strained have blossomed into long-term friendship."

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