Saturday 1 October 2016

Apres Match team kicked to touch as RTE dither on signing them up for Euro 2016

Published 30/01/2016 | 08:12

Funny side: Apres Match's Risteard Cooper (centre) as anchor Bill
Funny side: Apres Match's Risteard Cooper (centre) as anchor Bill

RTE is "hopeful" of bringing the Apres Match team back for Euro 2016 despite fears by the team that they haven't been officially signed up.

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Comedian Gary Cooke sparked concern among fans of the skit show that it may not return for the soccer championships.

The funnyman said this week that he and his sidekicks Risteard Cooper and Barry Murphy still didn't know if they would be back on our screens this summer.

"With a lot of funds going into the 1916 commemoration and the Olympics, they are a big financial drain this year. We're not quite sure what we are doing yet," he said.

Members of Apres Match Barry Murphy, Risteard Cooper & Gary Cooke during an announcement of a new season of programmes on RTE 2 at RTE studios Donnybrook, Dublin. Photo: Gareth Chaney Collins
Members of Apres Match Barry Murphy, Risteard Cooper & Gary Cooke during an announcement of a new season of programmes on RTE 2 at RTE studios Donnybrook, Dublin. Photo: Gareth Chaney Collins

He said there has been "no indication" yet whether RTE bosses want to bring back the show in a few months' time or not.

Cooke added that RTE had already splashed a lot of its cash on shows such as mini-series Rebellion, which cost €6m to make.

RTE will also have to fork out to cover the Olympics in Rio and the forthcoming election, as well as its GAA coverage and its penultimate broadcast of the Six Nations rugby.

However, an RTE source told the Herald that they are "hopeful" the Irish comedy show will return for Euro 2016, given its massive popularity among viewers.

Projects such as the 1916 centenary celebrations have been putting a massive financial drain on the national broadcaster as it pulls out all the stops to ensure the event is properly marked.

But when RTE was officially asked to comment on Cooke's remarks, a spokesman declined to shed any further light on the summer schedule.

"It's too early to make any comment on our Euro 2016 programming, an announcement will be made in due course," he said.

Meanwhile, Cooke admitted that it can be awkward bumping into RTE's soccer commentators in real life after mocking them for their show.

"We do bump into them and talk to them a little bit. We are doing two different jobs - it's a slightly uncomfortable relationship," he said.

"On the one hand, they are there to do their thing - and we're there to take the p**s, to try and make comedy out of what they are saying. That is a duality that could only exist in Ireland."

The popular trio will take to the road next month as they embark on a nationwide tour. Running since 2006, the success of the show has spawned DVD releases and Christmas specials.

Herald

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