RTÉ schedule promises to pack punch


It may not have been an easy year for RTÉ but the broadcaster came out fighting this afternoon as it announced its new season with a live showing of Katie Taylor's clash with Mayzuna Chorieva.

More than one million people are estimated to have watched the Bray boxer's fight today. Among them were many of RTÉ's top talent, who gathered to view the clash at the Montrose.

Ryan Tubridy, who will be back to host the Late Late Show next month, said he was hopeful Katie would be a guest on the programme.

"We've had her on a few times and she's great. She came out so lovely and quiet (when she was on). Then I'm after watching her punch the living lights out of another fighter. She'd be great to have on," he said.

Budgetary cutbacks may have left the broadcaster reeling in recent years but it is promising great things in its Autumn/Winter season including the return of the popular crime drama Love/Hate, and the beginning of a new one called The Fall, which is set in Belfast and stars Gillian Anderson.

Also set to return to our screens for a fifth season is the kitchen-based drama Raw, while other additions include the second series of the US thriller Homeland and a second series of Masterchef with Nick Munier and Dylan McGrath.

Tubridy admitted that the broadcaster has had to cut its cloth to measure but said he was looking forward to the coming months. With a new producer at the helm, the presenter said he believed the Late Late Show would be somewhat different this time around.

"I think it's going to be an exciting year for me personally because it's my fourth season and there's a sense of change in the air here, but I think of it as evolution rather than revolution," he said.

The new RTÉ television season features 114 new and returning home-produced programmes including popular hits such as the Voice of Ireland, Transformation Operation and Celebrity Bainisteoir.

In addition, there are a number of new documentaries covering issues such as education, obesity and teen pregnancy.

In a short series of programmes looking at the education system, the former governor of Mountjoy Prison John Lonergan will be focusing on how we educate our children while Inside the Department shows Minister for Education Ruairi Quinn and his advisors as they seek to introduce reforms while contending with reduced budgets.

Four new comedy shows also feature on the schedule, including Barry Murphy’s Irish Pictorial Weekly. Other programmes making an appearance for the first time include Hector Ó hEochagáin’s Hector Goes and the reality shows Football's Next Star, Instrumental and Strictly Am-Dram.

"It's no secret that we're facing challenges...and looking forward we continue to face the challenge of bigger and better resourced international competitors but it's not all gloomy," said RTÉ Television's managing director Glen Killane.

"RTÉ Television's share of peak time reviewing so far this year is still at 39 per cent, a share which many of our international competitors would be envious of," he added.