Tubridy: UK company could not deal with demand for Late Late tickets

‘Unprecedented’ number of applicants led to dozens of ticket holders being refused entry

Ryan Tubridy has responded to criticism of RTÉ's handling of ticketing for The Late Late Show, saying that the British company chosen for event management were unable to deal with the "unprecendented" demand for tickets.

Speaking on the Ryan Tubridy Show on Tuesday, Mr Tubridy told the disappointed ticket holders to email latelatelond@rte.ie before the end of the month and that RTÉ would "see what they can do for you".

RTÉ had told dozens of ticket holders for the London edition of the the show, who queued for hours in the cold only to be refused entry, that oversubscribing shows is “standard for UK TV audience management”.

The programme broadcast live from central London on Friday last celebrating “the historic ties between the Irish and their nearest neighbours and the contribution of Irish people to Britain”. The station invited London-Irish people to apply on the RTÉ website for tickets, which it said would be allocated by lottery.


British company

"The British company handling it did their best, I think it was tricky because they're used to handling the audiences for things like X Factor or James Corden, " Mr Tubridy said.

“They didn’t probably quite get that this was a big night. It was a difficult one for people who showed up and couldn’t get into the hall.

“We put out heads together and we do want to fix this. We are acutely aware of that unfortunate situation for the ticket holders and I think the company who were responsible for that have admitted that it was difficult – so let’s see what we can do to fix that.”

Hundreds of people who applied and won the tickets arrived feeling lucky, only to be left queuing in the cold for hours outside the Westminster studio. They were further disappointed to be told they not going to be let in.

Those who took to social media were clearly not impressed. Commenting on Twitter, Irish man and producer of ITV’s This Morning show Pádraig Prendergast said: “shambles. Queued for 2.5 hours @RTELateLateShow, constantly told we would get in, hundreds turned away with no apology.”

Paul Carroll, also on Twitter, said: "If there's *one thing* that RTE should understand it's that the Late Late, over 50 years running, is extremely popular and is not the short of show where people who apply for tickets would be inclined to be ambivalent about accepting. This isn't Top Gear for fecks sake".