Monday 20 January 2020

Cash-cutting RTE splashes more than €180k on Late Late Show celebrity guests

Robbie Williams with Ryan Tubridy on the ‘Late Late’
Robbie Williams with Ryan Tubridy on the ‘Late Late’
Ryan Tubridy

Sean O'Grady

RTE is not afraid to splash the cash when it comes to securing A-list stars for The Late Late Show.

The broadcaster forked out more than €180,000 between 2015 and 2016 for its guests.

Figures released to the Herald under the Freedom of Information Act, showed Montrose bosses spent more than €90,000 in each year for guests, contributors and musical acts.

In 2015, the show featured stars including Bob Geldof, celebrity chef Nigella Lawson and actress Toni Collette across its 37 episodes. A total of €91,021 was spent getting stars to be interviewed by host Ryan Tubridy.

Bob Geldof
Bob Geldof

That works out at an average spend of €2,460 per episode.

Guest fees for 2016 saw a slight increase, with the likes of broadcaster Jeremy Paxman, golfer Rory McIlroy and actor Liam Neeson bringing the annual outlay up to €93,985.

The average guest booking fee for each episode that year was €2,540.

The figures do not include any additional costs for accommodation or other expenses.

A spokesperson for the station said the show pays for guests to appear "in general", however those who are interviewed while promoting a film, album or programme are usually not paid.

Politicians are also not paid for their appearances.

Liam Neeson. Photo: Michael Chester
Liam Neeson. Photo: Michael Chester

With RTE making cuts to its budget, fees paid for stars has dropped in recent years.

In 2014, The Late Late Show forked out a hefty €125,000 for some of the talent that appeared on the 37 episodes.

That year's line-up included the likes of actress Eva Longoria, chat show host Graham Norton and singer Hozier.

The Late Late Show has long been the broadcaster's most expensive programme in terms of its guest fees.


The now defunct Saturday Night Show, hosted by Brendan O'Connor, was not far behindwith €92,025 spent on booking guests for 32 episodes in 2014.

Rory McIlroy reacts after his putt on the 18th green
Rory McIlroy reacts after his putt on the 18th green

Host Ryan Tubridy is heading into his ninth year fronting the Late Late.

While not expecting to replicate Gay Byrne's 37-year hosting record, the TV star is not going anywhere soon and hopes to make it to at least 15 years.

"I'm heading into my ninth year this September and I was thinking about it," he told the Herald earlier this month.

"Whoever turns 18 this year will have known me as The Late Late Show host since they were nine and I thought, 'That's an interesting idea that, I'm their guy'.

"Yeah I would [like to get to 15 years]. I'm really enjoying it, I'm having a ball," he added.

Revealed: Here's what Ryan Tubridy was paid last year 


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