Presenter hopes Cúla4 can inspire new generation of Irish speakers

Monaghan native Tessa Fleming presents new Uiscenauts programme.

Local broadcaster and producer Tessa Fleming, who presents a new all action water based game show on the recently launched new Irish language children’s channel, Cúla4, hopes it's programming can inspire a whole new generation of Irish speakers.

Uiscenauts is one of several new programmes added to the scheduled Cúla4 line up which focuses on broadcasting children’s news, entertainment and education content, drama and Irish animation.

Located at Bay Sports in Athlone, each Uiscenauts episode sees two teams of four (schools or sports teams ages 10 - 12 yrs old/ 5th/6th class ) go head to head in a series of water based tasks/ obstacles to see who is crowned the Uiscenauts champion, with Tessa in the background cheering them on.

The show was recorded last year, and is produced by the multi Award winning Galway-based film and television company, Abú Media.

“There are 24 programmes, it took about a month and a half to do, so its great now its going out,” says Tessa, who gave the programme a plug online while attending the recent Cúla4 channel launch.

“It was a great privilege to be present at the official launch of @Cúla4! A day of our lives! Excited now to see the new series 'Uiscenauts' on the new channel!” she wrote on social media.

Speaking to the Celt, Tessa, who use to present news on Northern Sound, says: “Its so exciting to be part of something like this. What's TG4 now? Almost 30 years old? So I grew up watching children's TV in that way, racing home from school to see Aifric and Spongebob Square Pants, and I just loved it. So its just lovely now that there's a dedicated Irish children's television channel.”

After leaving Northern Sound, the Monaghan Town native who now lives near Athboy, Co Meath, went to work with the BBC in Northern Ireland behind the scenes as a producer on their Irish language programme, Blás. She has been involved in presenting also, on various different bi-lingual programmes such as RTÉ's hit-series, Bog Amach, and as a contributor to a Peataí four-part series.

Tessa expresses high hopes that Cúla4 can inspire a new generation to love the Irish language in the same way TG4 did for her

“I'm always thinking about the future, because obviously Irish is growing, there are so many now speaking it, I love to think that because of Cúla4, the impact that will have on people's love for the language, their competency, and most importantly their confidence. It can only mean good things, and of course I'm delighted because I get to be on TV,” she says laughing. “So many people come to me saying 'ah, I never got Irish the way it was taught in school' and how that had such an impact of them, so I just think programming like this is so important, made in a fun and entertaining way, kids love them, and because of all that's happening now they're going to have such a positive experience learning the language.”