Thursday 18 January 2018

Anna Nolan: RTE spoiled for choice in search for our very own Tess Daly and Claudia Winkleman

Tess Daly (right) and Claudia Winkleman
Tess Daly (right) and Claudia Winkleman
Lucy Kennedy. Picture: Twitter
Emma Willis
GBBO Hosts Sue Perkins (right) and Mel Giedroyc are famed for their innuendos
Mary Berry and fellow judge Paul Hollywood with presenters Sue Perkins (far left) and Mel Giedroyc

Anna Nolan

SO, who's going to get the gig of the year? RTE is making Dancing with the Stars - its version of the hugely popular Strictly Come Dancing. Up and down the country (or within a three-mile radius of RTE) presenters are dusting down their evening gowns and practising their pieces to camera in the hope of getting the call.

Over in the UK, Tess Daly and Claudia Winkleman do a wonderful job of keeping the show light on its feet.

Claudia is the real star for me - she's so funny and sharp and creates a warm, relaxed atmosphere in the after-dance hub.

The celebrities and their dance partners, while out of breath from dancing and running up those stairs, are gently prodded on their performance.

What these two women have is what the great UK presenters of the moment have - experience.

In fact, most of the big shows that are on have women who are fabulous and in their 40s.

There's Tess and Claudia doing Strictly and Mel and Sue on Bake Off. Emma Willis is outstanding on Big Brother.

Zoe Ball is tremendous fun on It Takes Two, the spin-off Strictly show, and of course there's Davina McCall, the queen of television presenting.

GBBO Hosts Sue Perkins (right) and Mel Giedroyc are famed for their innuendos
GBBO Hosts Sue Perkins (right) and Mel Giedroyc are famed for their innuendos

All of these women have years of being in front of the camera under their belt. There's a familiarity to them that makes an audience feel relaxed. We trust them.

Of course, the lads also do a sterling job. Ant and Dec are the kings of presenting.

The powers that be in ITV realised that the younger, inexperienced Olly Murs and Caroline Flack were never going to work on X Factor. Dermot O'Leary was recalled and the rest is recent history.

It's a golden age for mature female presenters across the water.

Emma Willis
Emma Willis

The older male presenter and the younger female side-kick format stopped when Brucie left Strictly and the BBC decided that two talented women could do the job just as well.

So who do we want presenting the new family entertainment show here?

There's no doubt that Ireland has a huge number of experienced presenters.

Kathryn Thomas did a terrific job on The Voice. She's slick, warm and one of those people you feel you want as your friend.

Lucy Kennedy. Picture: Twitter
Lucy Kennedy. Picture: Twitter

She has that ability, like Davina McCall, to be genuine on screen.

Kathryn is a friend of mine, and she's exactly like she comes across.

Grainne Seoige, Sinead Kenn-edy and Blathnaid Ni Chofaigh all have live experience on big shows.

Lucy Kennedy is playing a blinder on TV3.

Her Living With Lucy series is a ratings hit and has beaten the likes of Gogglebox and Pat Kenny Tonight in the viewing figures.

TV3 has super entertainment broadcasters too - if RTE felt it wanted to do some poaching. Karen Koster is a firm favourite and would do a perfectly good job.

Will it be a case of "out with the old and in with the new" when it comes to RTE's Dancing with the Stars?

Or will the national broadcaster realise that the experienced woman is exactly what an audiences needs - and wants?


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