Sunday 22 October 2017

RTÉ picks up €50,000 hotel bill for Late Late and D'Arcy show guests

Ryan Tubridy and Ray D'Arcy at the RTE new season launch at the Smock Alley Theatre. Picture credit; Damien Eagers
Ryan Tubridy and Ray D'Arcy at the RTE new season launch at the Smock Alley Theatre. Picture credit; Damien Eagers

Gordon Deegan

RTE spent almost €50,000 last year putting up Late Late Show and Ray D'Arcy Show celebs and guests in luxury Dublin hotels.

A number of the big names stayed in the five-star Conrad and Dylan Hotels.

Figures released in response to a Freedom of Information (FOI) request confirm RTE spent €30,400 accommodating Late Late Show guests and €18,850 on Ray D'Arcy Show guests.

The Conrad's advertised nightly rates for Friday next week are from €387 for a King Superior room to €1,913 for the Presidential suite.

‘Late, Late Show’ host Ryan Tubridy is RTÉ’s best-paid presenter and commands annual fees of €495,000 for his services.
‘Late, Late Show’ host Ryan Tubridy is RTÉ’s best-paid presenter and commands annual fees of €495,000 for his services.

Nightly room rates for the same weekend at the boutique Dylan start at €229 and go up to €569.

However, RTE would pay substantially less than the advertised rates. The contract awarded by RTE is for six hotels to accommodate celebrity guests, presenters, contributors, advisors and external guests for all of its programming.

The four other hotels contracted by RTE are Ballsbridge Hotel in D4, Bewley's Hotel in Ballsbridge, the Radisson Blu in Stillorgan and the Stillorgan Park Hotel.

The FOI unit refused to state how much each hotel was paid.

Ray D'Arcy Picture: Andres Poveda
Ray D'Arcy Picture: Andres Poveda

"The ability of RTE to run and manage its business cost effectively is of significant importance," it said. "Disclosure of such material would prejudice RTE contractual negotiations in respect of future services."

It goes on state that "the majority of RTE's competitors are not required to release these records on the basis they are not subject to the Freedom of Information Act"

In the tender, RTE has specified that no alcoholic drink, bar items, additional charges and services are to be charged to the broadcaster.

At the time of the contract award, an RTE spokeswoman said that "tendering for services has enabled RTE to derive multiple benefits including cost savings, continuity of relationship, flexibility, and ensuring that best quality services are delivered at best value cost".

"In the instances of hotel costs, the agreement of a fixed cost, has meant that RTE was less vulnerable in a cost-rising market," she said.

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