Saturday 3 December 2016

RTE denies The Voice of Ireland will be axed in favour of Ireland's Got Talent

Published 21/02/2016 | 17:42

The Voice of Ireland coaches - Kian Egan, Una Foden, Rachel Stevens,and Bressie – and the judge's Red Chair.
The Voice of Ireland coaches - Kian Egan, Una Foden, Rachel Stevens,and Bressie – and the judge's Red Chair.

RTE has denied that The Voice of Ireland will be axed in favour of Ireland's Got Talent.

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Reports had suggested that the Irish singing talent show would finish after the current fifth season with the Irish version of Simon Cowell's Britain's Got Talent taking the primetime Sunday evening slot on RTE One.

However, a statement issued by RTE said, "We are very happy with the performance of this series of The Voice of Ireland which averages half a million viewers.

"As is the case every year with the Voice of Ireland a decision on re-recommissioning will happen after the current run has ended. This is normal practice for RTE with a series of this nature."

The Voice of Ireland, presented by Kathryn Thomas and Eoghan McDermott, features a high profile panel of coaches including Kian Egan, Bressie, Una Healy and Rachel Stevens.

The series had also been expected to end after the last season but emerged victorious from the commissioning process in early 2015.

"The Voice won that tender despite competition from some major international formats," said an RTE source.

"The show continues to deliver strong figures so it's pure speculation to suggest that it is being axed."

Ireland's Got Talent is rumoured to be fronted by Louis Walsh with several other associates of the former X Factor judge in the running to accompany him on the judging panel.

Possibilities include Westlife's Shane Filan, Linda Martin, producer Bill Hughes and Boyzone's Keith Duffy among others.

While Simon Cowell recently commented that he was still backing the project, it was turned down by TV3.

Last month, current TV3 boss Lynda McQuaid said, “We’ve had a long debate, myself and Louis. But I don’t think Ireland’s Got Talent is very TV3, I don’t think it would work.

“I don’t think we have a culture of working men’s clubs which is where it came out of. They now search the world for their acts, shows like Britain’s Got Talent.

“So my feeling is that an Ireland’s Got Talent would start to feel very parochial, very quickly. So that’s been ruled out. He’s not happy about that because that’s the one he really wants to do and he disagrees with me, he thinks that the talent is out there.”

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