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Rose of Tralee once-off special to be aired in August

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Limerick Rose Sinead Flanagan who was crowned the 2019 International Rose of Tralee

Limerick Rose Sinead Flanagan who was crowned the 2019 International Rose of Tralee

Limerick Rose Sinead Flanagan who was crowned the 2019 International Rose of Tralee

Despite this year’s festival being called off, RTE is hoping that a one-off Rose of Tralee special can give fans of the pageant their annual fix.

The loss of the nation’s 'guilty pleasure' has left a €10 million gap in the Kingdom’s coffers– as well as a big gap in RTE’s schedule.

For the first time in 61 years, the two-day television spectacle, hosted by Daithi O Se, has been shelved due to the Covid-19 crisis.

With a gap in the TV schedule and bitter disappointment among die-hard Rose of Tralee fans, there will now be a special that is being billed as, “more than just a greatest-hits package”.

"The Rose of Tralee is part of Irish culture and while people love to giveout about it, you just know they’re watching it,” one insider said.

“It is kind of like our own Irish Eurovision. We did look at doing a remote pageant but it just wasn’t viable and it wouldn’t have done the show justice. A special will go out in August and will hopefully give people their annual Rose of Tralee fix.

"We will be raiding the archives to get some footage that will bring back some fond memories fora lot of loyal viewers. Of course, Daithi is now part-and-parcel of the Rose fabric so it would be inconceivable to have this show without him playing a big part as well.

With 61 years of archive footage to choose from, if anything, the problem for executives compiling the programme will be what to leave out rather than what to put in.

Undoubtedly 2014 Rose winner and now MEP Maria Walsh is certain to be front and centre, as will be the iconic moment Dublin Rose Siobheal NicEochaidh performed her hip-hop dance routine.

653,500 people saw SineadFlanagan win last year, with 1.43 million watching the Rose of Tralee finals.

The show proved to be popular globally, with over 110,000 streams reaching 85 countries, including Botswana, Kyrgyzstan, Burundi and the Maldives.

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Herald