Rose picks native Daithi as the first host from Kerry
O Se takes over from D'Arcy in Tralee
HAVE you heard the one about the Kerryman who will host The Rose of Tralee?
TG4 presenter Daithi O Se is to become the first Kingdom native to compere the long-running pageant --and he intends to make his home county proud.
The versatile showman will replace Today FM broadcaster Ray D'Arcy, RTE announced yesterday. Viewers will see him interviewing 31 Roses over two nights at the Festival Dome, Tralee, on August 23 and 24.
Currently in Canada and the United States where he is filming a new series for TG4, the 33-year old said: "It's a huge honour to be chosen. It's a show I've watched all my life and a festival I've worked with for a good few years.
"Last year, I had the pleasure of being the chair of the judging panel, so to return this year as the presenter will be a different and exciting experience.
"Of course, being the first Kerryman to host the show brings its own pressures but I'm really looking forward to it. Some of the greats of Irish broadcasting have presented before me, so I have huge shoes to fill," said Daithi.
Gay Byrne is among previous hosts of the The Rose Of Tralee and the job is one of the most sought after in television because of the huge audience.
Last year, a peak of 885,000 viewers watched London contestant Charmaine Kenny crowned as the 51st Rose.
However, the new role will mean that Daithi cannot, as had been planned, act as chairman of the judging panel at this year's festival.
Before joining TG4 as a weatherman, he worked as a butcher, a teacher, a ferry driver and even spent a short time as a ringmaster in Duffy's Circus.
The Dingle man rose to national prominence when he starred in RTE's 'Celebrity You're A Star'.
In the past two years, he has been a judge on 'The All-Ireland Talent Show'. His act representing the west -- the Mulkerrin Brothers -- triumphed in the first series.
Welcoming Daithi O Se as the new host, the managing director of the festival, Anthony O'Gara, said: "We are thrilled to have Daithi on board.
"He has hosted the Kerry event, attended international centre selections and last year chaired the international-selection judging panel.
"Ray has been a wonderful presenter of the televised festival selection over the past five years and we believe that Daithi will be equally skilled and effective. And he's from Kerry -- what more could we ask for?"
RTE's head of entertainment Eddie Doyle said: "The best of broadcasters have presented this uniquely Irish event: Gay Byrne, Ryan Tubridy, Marty Whelan, Derek Davis and Ray D'Arcy.
"In Daithi, I think we have a presenter who will fit into such company with ease.
"He has a great natural affability and charm on screen, which will endear him to the audience and the Roses alike.
"His broad experience in live television and his many flying hours for TG4 befit him well for the six hours of live television -- which is a marathon in broadcasting terms."