6 December 2023 The Irish Film & Television Network

Irish Film and Television Network




Features & Interviews

“I’ve always had that grá for an teanga”, host Gráinne Seoige discusses Grá ar an Trá
06 Sep 2023 : Luke Shanahan
Gráinne Seoige at the VMTV Autumn Schedule launch.
Gráinne Seoige will be joined by Síomha Ní Ruairc and James Kavanagh in hosting the brand new dating series Grá ar an Trá for Virgin Media Television.

Gráinne Seoige will be taking on the role of the ‘Cinnire Grá’ on Grá ar an Trá, alongside ‘Bean an Tí’ Síomha Ní Ruairc and ’Man an Tí’ James Kavanagh. The series was filmed over the course of two weeks in Waterford last May.

The series follows six single women and six single men as they couple up, try to find love and learn the Irish language. The ultimate aim is to be crowned the ‘Couple with the most Focail’, and walk away with a grand prize to the value of €10,000.

We caught up with Gráinne Seoige ahead of the premiere of Grá ar an Trá to discuss the importance of Irish language media, her experience shooting the new series, and what we can expect from the new show.

IFTN: What does it mean for you to be part of a show that puts the Irish language to its forefront?

GRÁINNE: “My relationship with the Irish language and my love for it is well documented. TnáG, now TG4, is where I started my career as a news anchor trí Gaeilge. I was raised with Irish. So I’ve always had that grá for an teanga.”

“In the years since I’ve started work, various things have happened that have helped change people’s opinions that may not have bought into it. For instance, An Cailín Ciúin being nominated for an Oscar, and not just being nominated, being genuinely popular. People made an effort to see it, and people liked it all over the world. I think it shows that any old vestiges of a negative image of the language are being put to bed. I think Grá ar an Trá will also help do that.”

“We have stunning examples of Irish youth on the show between 20 and 29. Everybody is fit. Everybody is well-heeled, well-educated, talented, successful, broad minded. They're a wonderful example of who we're producing as a nation. They all either speak the language or want to learn it.”

IFTN: What was it like hosting alongside Síomha Ní Ruairc and James Kavanagh?

GRÁINNE: “Oh my gosh, so much fun. I knew Síomha and James, but I'd never worked with them before. We had so much craic. We worked really, really hard, but we had so much craic.”

“Síomha was raised in Dublin, not in the gaeltacht in the West of Ireland like me, and her Irish is absolutely gorgeous. James wouldn’t have it so much, but doesn’t have any hangups about the language, he wanted to learn and did learn.”

“I think having them on the show represented that feeling around the language that exists nowadays. They brought so much to the show and I think there'll be a big comedy element coming from them that will go down very well.”

IFTN: What was your favourite moment, or episode, over the course of filming the show?

GRÁINNE: “I think you'll have to wait and see! I think there's a lot of fun on the show, and it was a very intensive filming schedule so it's very hard to pick out one episode right now. James did a bit of calligraphy on the beach when we were doing sports day and that was a lot of fun, but I don't know if that's even gonna make the cut.”

IFTN: What is the tone and content of the series like in comparison to other contemporary dating shows, such as Love Island?

“I wouldn’t say it’s like Love Island, where it's centred around the swimming pool. That’s not what Grá ar an Trá about at all. It’s very different to that.”

“There’s challenges and activities, we did some Irish dancing with them, we had a sports day on the beach, and lots of different activities that would be uniquely Irish and reflect our upbringing here in this country. “

“It's not really trying to ape other dating shows. There is that element of people being attracted to each other and pairing people up with each other, but I think it is uniquely Irish in the sense of what they get to do. They're not covering each other with oil or any of that kind of stuff.”

Grá ar an Trá premieres on Virgin Media Television later this year.

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