Thursday 27 June 2019

Revealed: The top 20 most-watched TV programmes in Ireland in 2018

Late Late Toy Show triumphs again with Storm Emma coverage and key sporting events dominating top 10

Ryan Tubridy.
Ryan Tubridy.
Aoife Kelly

Aoife Kelly

The Late Late Toy Show was once again the most-watched TV programme of the year according to the latest TAM Ireland/Nielsen ratings for 2018.

The annual extravaganza of music, performance, children, and toys, hosted by Ryan Tubridy, drew an audience of 1.5m to RTE One on November 30.

Key sporting events including the Six Nations: Ireland V England, the Guinness Series clash between Ireland and the All Blacks, and Croatia's 2:1 triumph over England in the World Cup semi-final were the second, third, and fourth most-watched.

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Garry Ringrose scores against England last year

RTE lost the TV rights for the Six Nations Championship to Virgin Media Television (formerly TV3) last year and the latter will be celebrating the fact that the Ireland V England clash was the second most-watched programme, drawing 975,000 viewers. 

The Ireland V Scotland game, also broadcast on Virgin Media Television, came ninth on the list with an audience of 729,000.

However, RTE One and RTE2 dominate the list with 40 of the 50 programmes coming from the State broadcaster.

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

The special episode of Room to Improve featuring the renovation of Daniel and Majella O'Donnell's Donegal home by architect Dermot Bannon was the fifth most-watched programme all year.

Rounding out the top ten was coverage of Storm Emma which saw high winds and heavy snowfall across the country. 

RTE News: Six One and RTE News: Nine O'Clock on March 1, at the height of the storm, were the eighth and tenth most-watched programmes, with 807,000 and 707,000 viewers respectively.

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Fredro Starr talks to RTE News about his travel ordeal thanks to Storm Emma. PIC: Twitter

Just missing out on the top ten was the Eurovision Song Contest Final 2018 (701,000 viewers for RTE One), which saw Ireland's Ryan O'Shaughnessy and his song 'Together' beaten by Israel to the title.

Mrs Brown's Boys Christmas Day episode, 'Exotic Mammy', came in 12th with 688,000 (RTE One), followed by the launch episode of I'm a Celebrity... Get Me Out of Here! on Virgin Media One on November 18.

The Ireland V Wales Six Nations game in February drew 663,000 viewers, coming 14th, followed by the FIFA World Cup final of France V Coratia at 654,000.

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Mrs Brown’s Boys, starring Brendan O’Carroll

Mrs Brown's Boys on New Year's Eve drew 650,000 for RTE One, followed by the 17th most-watched show of the year, The Late Late Show London Special.

The most-watched documentary of the year was Whistleblower: The Maurice McCabe Story with reported Katie Hannon, coming in eighteenth on the list.

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The Young Offenders Christmas Special will air on RTE One on Christmas Day

The Young Offenders Christmas Special on RTE One was watched by 601,000 on Christmas Day and was the 21st most-watched programme of the year.

RTE's flagship reality show, Dancing with the Stars. failed to make the top 20 in 2018, coming in at 23 on the list, although its most-watched episode drew a very impressive 598,000.

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The top 10 most-watched programmes of 2018
Revealed: The top 20 most watched programmes on TV in Ireland last year

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