"Celebrity Bainisteoir" is a brand-new eight-part prime-time entertainment show for RTÉ One which combines the raw passion of the GAA grassroots with the glamorous world of celebrity.
"Celebrity Bainisteoir" takes eight Irish non-sporting personalities and throws them in at the deep end as they manage an intermediate club football team from their home county in an official GAA tournament.
The competing celebrities are model Glenda Gilson, solicitor and 'bon vivant' Gerald Kean, journalist and cultural commentator Nell McCafferty, comedian, musician and actor Jon Kenny, 'How Low Can You Go' TV presenter Baz Ashmawy, Fianna Fáil TD for Longford-Westmeath Mary O'Rourke T.D., bookmaker and former Fine Gael politician Ivan Yates and former Rose of Tralee and regular member of The Panel on RTÉ Two, Aoibhinn Ní Shúilleabháin.
The eight celebrities will manage an intermediate club football team from their home county. The teams they will lead are: Ballymanus GAA, Wicklow (Baz Ashmawy); Galtee Gaels GAA Club, Limerick (Jon Kenny); Crumlin GAA Club, Dublin (Glenda Gilson); Maryland GAA Club, Westmeath (Mary O'Rourke, T.D.); Taghmon-Camross GAA Club, Wexford (Ivan Yates); Kiltimagh GAA Club, Mayo (Aoibhinn Ní Shúilleabháin); Mayfield GAA Club, Cork (Gerald Kean); St Mary's Faughanvale GAA Club, Derry (Nell McCafferty).
Each of the Bainisteoirí have an experienced mentor on hand to help them train and manage the team. Bainisteoirí will be responsible for team training and tactics and for picking the teams in what promises to be a battle royal for the title of Celebrity Bainisteoir 2008.
The tournament is officially sanctioned by the GAA and will consist of four quarter-finals, two semi-finals and the final, which is to be played on May 9th at Parnell Park in Dublin.
RTÉ Commissioning Editor, Entertainment, Eddie Doyle said: "Celebrity Bainisteoir is a refreshingly Irish take on reality television. Clashing the local passions of grass-roots GAA with the very different worlds of our eight celebrity team leaders, it looks like there'll be drama both on and off the pitch."
Producer Jean Devlin of Animo Television said: "Celebrity Bainisteoir is about showcasing and celebrating the passion, skill and commitment of grassroots GAA, but we're having a bit fun with it by throwing celebrities into the mix. At its heart it's a uniquely Irish family entertainment programme. For the clubs it's a rare chance to showcase club football to a national audience in an entertainment programme, while for the celebrities it's a chance to learn a brand new skill." (Source: http://www.rte.ie/tv/celebritybainisteoir/)