RTE denies Late Late Show winners all come from same place
Published 08/06/2015 | 07:31
RTE have dismissed accusations that The Late Late Show competition winners are always from the same area.
Irate viewers complained to the broadcaster that those who scoop the lavish prizes on its flagship chat show are always from Munster.
The Herald received copies of the complaints under the Freedom of Information Act.
However, when asked for a list of counties that prize winners live in, RTE said that they do not keep details on winners.
Prizes handed out on the show include luxury trips abroad and cash sums.
On this season’s closing show in May, there was a bumper giveaway of €50,000 in cash prizes, split between five winners.
Three of those who were awarded their portion of the prize money were, in fact, from Munster – hailing from Kerry, Limerick and Tipperary.
The other two cash prize winners live in Dublin.
One person who lodged a complaint wrote: “Does Ireland comprise of six counties, whose population is less than that of the Dublin area?”
In a bid to remove any doubt as to the fairness of the Donnybrook broadcaster’s selection process a spokesperson explained how the lucky entrants are chosen. A statement said that, in most cases, Late Late Show staff are not aware of where the people are from until they are on the phone with host Ryan Tubridy to hear about their prizes.
“RTE competition winners are selected completely at random using a software programme,” it said.
“Each entry is assigned a record number and winners are selected entirely at random using a unique integer generator”.
“At the point of generating the winning record number, RTE is not privy to location details.”
There is a “strict and audited process in place” to ensure that all competitions are conducted fairly the statement added.
The fear that RTE was displaying a bias to those living in the southern province was one of many bugbears that people contacted the broadcaster about.
Another viewer expressed outrage that a wind turbine was included as part of a children’s toy farm during the Christmas Toy Show.
In a strongly worded email the angry audience member accused RTE of “brainwashing” and chastised the broadcaster for pushing the wind farm ‘agenda’ on young minds.
Host Ryan Tubridy did not manage to escape criticism from licence payers, one of whom described him as a “wooden presenter”.