Friday 15 February 2019

'Show's over' says Brendan O'Connor

'Saturday Night Show' host to return to RTE One with new programme in early 2016

Brendan O'Connor
Brendan O'Connor

Shane Doran

RTE has decided to end the Saturday Night Show, hosted by Brendan O'Connor, when this, its fifth season, concludes on May 30 .

This is despite the fact that it has been extremely successful in consistently attracting a large audience, even beating the Late Late Show on one occasion, with more than half a million viewers.

The announcement was made live on air by Brendan O'Connor on the Saturday Night Show last night, and he hinted mischievously, that with 10 shows still to go, his team all felt quite liberated "What are they going to do? Take us off the air?" he said.

But it's not the end of the popular host on TV. RTE also announced that Brendan will develop a new series this year which will air in a prime-time slot in early 2016. Meanwhile, the Saturday night segment will be filled by the station's latest acquisition, Ray D'Arcy who will host a new show in the autumn. According to Glen Killane, managing director of RTE Television: "Brendan has proven himself to be a great talent and we are delighted that he will remain central to RTE One's primetime schedule with a new show. As the national broadcaster, we have to constantly innovate and renew our schedules and these changes will allow Brendan to continue to make an impact in an important part of the RTE One schedule."

Brendan O'Connor commented: "It's been a great five years and this year in particular has been a great one for the Saturday Night Show. Myself and the team are delighted to be going out on a high, and I am very excited about inventing a newer, even better show."

Adrian Lynch, RTE One channel controller, said: "The Saturday Night Show has been a great success for RTE One under Brendan. As Ireland's most popular channel, RTE One needs to continue to offer the public great shows and keep great talent. With Brendan O'Connor and Ray D'Arcy at the heart of RTE

One's primetime schedule, along with Claire Byrne, Miriam O'Callaghan and Ryan Tubridy, the public will enjoy an unrivalled line-up of talent on RTE One."

Most modern shows suffer from declining ratings, but the Saturday Night Show has been beating that trend and closing the gap on the Late Late Show. When it eclipsed Ryan Tubridy's Late Late recently, with more than 500,000 viewers turning it to watch George Hook talk about his regret with the way he had treated his mother and how he had reconnected with his Catholic faith, the corresponding Late Late Show was watched by an audience of 499,000 viewers.

Making the announcement last night, O'Connor said: "We've decided to go out on a high. So this will be the last season of the Saturday Night Show. Basically once we beat the Late Late that week, we decided we'd proven our point. We're not gone yet though. There are 10 more shows to go so stay tuned. We on the team all feel quite liberated and it could be an interesting few months. Think of it, what are they going to do? Take us off the air? And don't get too upset. I have an exciting new show in the works so I'll be back soon."

Brendan's guests last night included children's champion, Christina Noble, poet Paul Durcan, and Trinity student leader Lynn Ruane.

Sunday Independent

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