Saturday 21 October 2017

Ex-Westlife star earns surprise place on list

Nicky Byrne
Nicky Byrne
Kirsty Blake Knox

Kirsty Blake Knox

If there was one name on RTÉ's top earner's list that surprised most of us, it was that of radio sophomore and former Westlife star Nicky Byrne.

Having joined the station in 2014, Byrne is now on a salary of €200,583 - just €915 less than Claire Byrne - a woman with close to 18 years of broadcast experience at TV3 and RTÉ.

And then there is the issue that Byrne's co-presenter Jenny Greene doesn't even feature in the top 10.

In Byrne's defence, there is a very practical explanation for the substantial difference in his and Greene's earnings - he spends a lot more time on our TV screens.

His TV projects have had varying degrees of success; on one hand he hosted ill-fated and highly confusing Lotto game show 'Euro Million Challenge', which was axed after a season.

But on the other hand, he was the co-presenter on hugely successful reality TV series 'Dancing with the Stars'.

RTÉ clearly believes Byrne brings a certain razzle dazzle to the airwaves and screens.

Asked why the singer's salary was so high, 2fm boss Dan Healy said yesterday: "Nicky is an international star."

This is true - at the height of Westlife's fame, Byrne and all his fellow band members were playing to tens of thousands of screaming fans around the world.

Although if pop history has taught us anything, it's that when it comes to boybands, the sum is always greater than the parts.

But RTÉ appears to still hold on to those heady Westlife hey days (remember how dumbfounded it was when Byrne failed to make it into the Eurovision final in 2016?).

Perhaps that, along with the substantial TV work, explains Byrne's somewhat surprise entry into the top 10 earners list.

Irish Independent

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