New Late Late Show season will be nearly two months shorter, RTÉ confirms

Incoming host Patrick Kielty will host 30 episodes per season, compared to recent seasons with 35-37 shows

RTÉ has confirmed that the next season of The Late Late Show, which is set to be presented by Patrick Kielty, will have a nearly two-month shorter duration time than recent seasons when Ryan Tubridy was at the helm.

Earlier this week, Mr Kielty revealed he would be paid €250,000 for three seasons with 30 episodes each, in addition to an initial fee of €20,000 for pre-production and rehearsals for the show.

The Northern Irish comedian and television personality said he will cover his own accommodation and travel. He has also waived expenses of €50,000.

Recent seasons have had a duration of 35-37 episodes. The final season presented by Ryan Tubridy ran for 36 episodes. He received €515,000 from RTÉ last year, which covered his work at The Late Late Show and his weekday radio show.


RTÉ had previously indicated that he was paid €440,000 in 2022 and under reported the earnings of Mr Tubridy by €345,000 from 2017 to 2022. The under declaring of his earnings has caused a crisis situation for the broadcaster, which is funded partly by the licence fee and partly by commercial revenue.

Meanwhile, Niamh Boyle, chief executive of The Reputations Agency, told The Business on RTÉ Radio 1 that the public in Ireland can be “quite unforgiving” in these situations.

“We do seem to have higher standards. Possibly because we burned so badly through the financial crisis. People are even more aware of the importance of governance and conduct,” Ms Boyle said.

She said that a key problem for RTÉ is that it is starting this “whole debacle” with a fairly average, if not weak, reputation.

“So we measure reputation every year. We measure one hundred organisations including RTÉ. And over the last three years RTÉ has been ranked fairly consistently in 92nd place out of those one hundred organisations,” Ms Boyle said.

“We measure this through talking to over 5,000 members of the public. We ask them for their levels of trust and respect and esteem and admiration in RTÉ and 100 organisations overall.

“And RTÉ hasn’t fared so well over the last few years. But it did very well during Covid. It actually bounced right up to 64th place so there are opportunities to move this up again. But it hasn’t entered the crisis with a strong reputational foundation.

“That means it has got a steeper hill to climb to build reputation and trust among the public.”

However, Ms Boyle believes that RTÉ can recover its reputation.

“We imagine that [RTÉ’s reputation] is probably at quite a low position. But right now we are in the middle of a crisis and things can recover and we have seen this happening with many organisations over the years,” Ms Boyle said.

“This has happened many times with organisation. Volkswagen in 2015 started with a strong reputation. The emissions scandal drove their reputation right down to a weak reputation.

“It is up to a strong score now but it has taken several years. It takes time.

“But they [Volkswagen] took reputation seriously. They put strong governance structures in place. They measured their reputation and built their reputation over a number of years. There is a real opportunity for RTÉ to do this.”

Meanwhile, Minister of State and Fianna Fáil TD Sean Fleming, told the show that the incoming director general of RTÉ Kevin Bakhurst, who is due to start his role next month, “must act now”.

“He [Bakhurst] has enough to go on. After the shock and awe of the revelations I was stunned for several days. But very quickly I came to the view that mad and all as is what happened what I am more concerned about is the cover up since then by senior people involved.

I would actually liken this to Watergate. It is not the original break in will do the damage it is the systematic cover up. We have been in a cover up situation for years at this stage. I believe that is where the real damage is. People knew about this and there is a ‘hush-hush’ cover up.

People who have been involved in the cover up have to be held in to account in this situation. People who have been involved in the cover up need to face up to it now.”

People Before Profit TD for Dublin South West Paul Murphy was also interviewed on the show. He said that we still don’t have answers about fundamental questions relating to governance at RTÉ.

“We still don’t know who knew about this [the Tubridy deal]. There is two different stories. That is a fundamental question that we don’t have an answer to. How we get that PAC should use its powers to compel all of the key actors to come and present themselves because even if it isn’t in Dee Forbes contract she can still be compelled to come before PAC and I think that would make sense.

It would make sense to do so with Ryan Tubridy and it would make sense to do so with Noel Kelly. But then the Government should also use its powers to send people in terms of a full internal investigation. Everything has to be published here as quickly as is possible.”

Michael McNamara Independent TD for Clare told Ms Kerr that Mr Bakhurst was being viewed in RTÉ as “the great white hope”.

However, he said it was important for Mr Bakhurst to clarify what he knew when he previously operated at a senior management position within the organisation.

“It needs to be clarified when [the slush fund] was established and who knew about it.”