Wednesday 28 September 2016

'Fair City' actors on €460 a day but RTÉ quiet about top earners

John Lawrence

Published 12/05/2016 | 02:30

Actors Don Baker, Aisling O'Neill and Karl Shiels in a scene from RTÉ soap opera 'Fair City'
Actors Don Baker, Aisling O'Neill and Karl Shiels in a scene from RTÉ soap opera 'Fair City'

Actors on RTÉ's flagship soap 'Fair City' earn almost €460 a day, but the broadcaster has refused to state how much it pays its leading soap stars annually.

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Television executives at the station have confirmed the daily shift rate for performers on the programme has remained at €459 for the past four years.

And the taxi bill for all staff working on 'Fair City', who are needed in the early morning or late in the evening, was nearly €30,000 in 2015, up from €25,376 the previous year.

Additional

A pool of 26 scriptwriters was contracted to the show last year, and of this number, 15 received €3,495 each per episode and nine received €1,837.

RTÉ said the scriptwriters were given "an additional 35pc of the basic fee per episode in respect of a further broadcast of the episode within seven days. These are rates agreed with the Irish Playwrights and Screenwriters Guild".

However, despite disclosing remuneration figures for its most popular radio and TV presenters earlier this year, RTÉ would not say how much the top 10 best paid actors on 'Fair City' receive.

An RTÉ response to a Freedom of Information (FOI) request stated 'Fair City' actors "are paid fees rather than salaries as they are contracted to RTÉ. The exact amounts paid are regarded as commercially sensitive".

It added that information regarding other allowances, such as meals for the performers, was also "commercially sensitive".

RTÉ said 198 episodes were filmed last year at a cost per episode of €54,883. This amounted to an estimated budget of €10.86m.

Irish Independent

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