Entertainment Television

Monday 14 October 2019

'A lot of disappointed people' - guests outside Late Late Show’s London gig turned away after 'unprecedented' crowd

  • Punters were "disappointed" after being turned away at the door despite arriving hours before the gig
  • Ticket company said demand for the one-off show was "unprecedented"
Ryan Tubridy outside No 10, Downing Street
Ryan Tubridy outside No 10, Downing Street
Ryan Tubridy. Photo: Andres Poveda Photography
Punters queueing outside Central Hall in London for the Late Late Show tonight
Rachel Farrell

Rachel Farrell

The Late Late Show’s much anticipated broadcast from London has left punters ‘disappointed’ after a high turn-up rate meant people were turned away at the door.

Hopeful attendees claim that despite arriving hours before the 8pm start time, they were told that the venue was “oversubscribed”. 

Breda Corish, who was in attendance with the London Irish Abortions Rights Campaign, said there was a “huge queue” when her group arrived an hour before the show.

“We were very keen to arrive so we got there just after seven and there was a huge queue already,” Breda told Independent.ie.

Punters queueing outside Central Hall in London for the Late Late Show tonight
Punters queueing outside Central Hall in London for the Late Late Show tonight

“I have no idea what happened but there were a lot of disappointed people out there. It was chaotic and confusing and people were getting grumpy.”

One woman, who is 28 weeks pregnant, said her group were “gutted” when they didn’t get in.

“It’s so disappointing, I met so many lovely people who had made all sorts of big effort to get there,” Sinead O’Sullivan told Independent.ie.

The Waterford native, who has been living in London for 14 years, said she began queueing an hour before the show.

“When we arrived tonight there were huge crowds of people and the company which were handling the tickets said; “sorry but it’s full - we were oversubscribed”. 

“There were hundreds of disappointed people left outside of all ages. It just didn’t make sense why they issued so many tickets. People were so gutted.”

Some travelled over from Ireland for the live broadcast, with one student nurse claiming her mother flew over from Ireland “for nothing”. 

“It’s crazy there was still people outside giving out, we just left as the show had started,” she said.

“I’m a student nurse living London two years now and my mam has never been to visit. I couldn’t believe I won ticket, I only found out we won them on Tuesday.

“She got a flight over Thursday night late for £160, all for nothing.”

A spokesperson for RTÉ told Independent.ie that the tickets were allocated through a UK based company called Applause Store.

“Audience Tickets for The Late Late Show in London were allocated and managed by UK based company Applause Store. Applause Store are ticket specialists for UK TV audiences,” they said.

The spokesperson added that the tickets stated that there was no guaranteed entry and that there was high demand for the London broadcast tickets.

“Tickets were allocated to applicants stating that it was not a guarantee of entry but seats would be allocated on the night on a first come first served basis. 

“This is standard in UK TV audience management. However, such was the demand for this one-off show that more people were left disappointed than expected.”

A spokesperson for Applause Store said the demand was “unprecedented” and that there was a “higher than normal” turn-up rate.

“We have to oversubscribe our tickets to cover any no shows as all of them are free of charge and sadly not everyone uses them,” Applause Store Audience Manager Mathew First said.

“We have, however, experienced a higher than normal turn-up rate which has meant that regrettably we could not accommodate everyone with a seat in the venue. The demand for Late Late Show tickets is unprecedented.” 

The legendary show was broadcast from London this evening to celebrate the Irish living in London.

Graham Norton, Brendan O'Carroll and Imelda May were among the line-up this evening, with music from Finbar Furey and Andrea and Caroline Corr.

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