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Dermot Bannon responds to criticism of 'Room To Improve': 'I'm asking this question all week - should we just stop making it?'

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Show time: Dermot Bannon ushered in the era of tasteful, aspirational living. Photo: Gerry Mooney

Show time: Dermot Bannon ushered in the era of tasteful, aspirational living. Photo: Gerry Mooney

Show time: Dermot Bannon ushered in the era of tasteful, aspirational living. Photo: Gerry Mooney

Architect Dermot Bannon has responded to a former RTÉ reporter's scathing criticism of his hit TV show 'Room To Improve'.

Former south-east correspondent Damien Tiernan slammed the popular programme as "disgusting" and "pathetic" in an online rant.

Mr Tiernan worked with the national broadcaster for 23 years as their South East correspondent before leaving earlier this year as part of the exit scheme.

He didn't hold back on Sunday night as he criticised Room to Improve and host Dermot Bannon.

"At no time does Bannon question the morality of what he is promoting," he wrote.

"It's a complete cod of a programme that plays on people's greed, opulence and avarice. And RTE promotes it as entertainment?

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Dermot Bannon

Dermot Bannon

Dermot Bannon

"Pathetic. They should be ashamed."

Speaking on FM104 this morning, much-loved architect Bannon said viewers are "very aware" that they are watching an entertainment show. He said 'Room To Improve' is about the "characters and their journey".

However, he did admit he has been asking himself this week if they should stop making the programme following a growing criticism online.

"It's a funny one because Room To Improve, if it was on in the UK, would be shown on a Thursday night for half an hour and it would go a little bit under the radar," Mr Bannon said.

"It's managed to find its way into this Sunday night slot, it's an entertainment slot.

"But as well, people are very aware of the slot that it's in, and producers and RTE."

He continued; "If I did a €20,000 extension for someone's house and spent an hour talking through it, nobody would watch.

"It's about the characters, it's about their journey. The budgets are the budgets - I'm asking this question all week - should we just stop making it?'

"There's been a bit of talk this week and people are entitled to their opinions and if somebody feels that - because I feel things about other TV programmes that nobody else sees, I'm not dissing anybody for having an opinion and I mean that genuinely.

"And I'm listening to it and I always believe somewhere in all of that, there's maybe a small hint of truth or whatever but I'm examining it and I'm asking people 'what do you think? Should we just stop making it?'"

The Dublin architect also claimed the budgets are not that hight, considering many of the homes are being completely rebuilt and all of the homes are now energy 'A-rated'.

"I think, morally, I can't put an extension onto somebody's house and then leave the rest of the house freezing so I often say 'Look, do nothing with the house but we've got to get it up to an A rating'.

"So every single house that we've done this year, we've taken it off gas and oil, there's no fossil fuels," he added.

Online Editors