Following Dustin the Turkey's unsuccessful attempt to regain Irish glory in this year's Eurovision Song Contest with Irelande Douze Points, RTE are seeking new a programme format for the puppet. The national TV station of Ireland has given Dustin a development contact which it hopes will revitalise the successful puppet character.
Rumours circulated recently in the Irish media suggested that the the popular character was to be dropped entirely by RTE bosses ahead of the autumn schedule. However, a RTE spokesman said: Dustin previously had a contract for young people’s programmes, but is now moving in a different direction. We’re trying out a format which is indicative of the new approach. The pilot is about to go into production and is designed to test out a particular format. RTE said that giving Dustin a development contract facilitates an exploration of formats.
A spokesman for Double Z, the production company behind Dustin, said it is happy with the nature of the contract RTE has given. Asked what the future holds for the turkey, he said: It depends on how the pilots go. But the intention is that he will go back on air. The puppet will now target a more mature audience, Double Z said, but the format will not be a chat show. The new Dustin the Turkey show will not be expected on RTE until next year.
Dustin has been a fixture on RTE since 1990 when he appeared with fellow puppets Zig and Zag