Sunday 16 December 2018

Daniel and Majella's Room to Improve pulls sky high ratings, beating DWTS and the Late Late

Daniel, Majella and Dermot survey the plans. Pic: RTE / Room to Improve
Daniel, Majella and Dermot survey the plans. Pic: RTE / Room to Improve
Kirsty Blake Knox

Kirsty Blake Knox

Dermot Bannon's makeover of Majella and Daniel O'Donnell's Donegal home pulled in sky-high ratings of 722,000 viewers.

The showbiz couple's home improvement saga trumped RTE's flagship show Dancing With The Stars and Friday's The Late Late Show, which attracted 532,000 and 510,000 viewers respectively.

The special episode of Room To Improve also beat the transmission of the glitzy Irish Film And Television Awards ceremony, which was watched by 270,000.

In fact, the programme was the highest-rated programme on RTE this year and the most-watched episode ever of Room To Improve.

Viewers appeared to enjoy the tension between Daniel and Dermot as the budget for the build spiralled.

The couple gave a budget limit of €200,000, but the cost of renovations soon soared to €395,000.

Daniel admitted he found filming a bit of a struggle and nearly "blew a gasket" on several occasions.

"I gave him a budget and the tender came back in and it was twice the original budget," he said.

"I was like a terrier going into a rabbit hole."

Viewers were also bemused by Daniel's obsession with bathrooms.

Read more: 'Relax woman' - Daniel feels the strain as Majella and Dermot Bannon 'let the light in' on Room to Improve 

RTE's head of programmes, Adrian Lynch, said he knew viewers were "in for a treat" when he "heard Daniel and Majella were on board for the Dermot treatment".

Host Bannon says he would love to get Taoiseach Leo Varadkar to appear on the next season of the programme.

"It would be nice to do a Taoiseach's house, wouldn't it? Something a little bit different," he said.

"I should get in touch with Leo Varadkar. He's next on the list."

Read more: 'Starchitect' Dermot sets sights on Taoiseach Leo Varadkar's home for next renovation

Meanwhile, both Daniel and Majella will be back on our TV screens later this year for the third series of their popular show, Daniel and Majella's B&B Road Trip.

Filming will being next month, and Daniel revealed that they plan to visit the eight remaining counties that have yet to feat- ure on popular their RTE show.

Read more: 'I haven't seen the episode yet but it will be hard enough to watch' - Dermot Bannon on Room to Improve bust up with Daniel O'Donnell 

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