Wednesday 16 October 2019

'RTE has so much dead wood and they need to get rid of it all', says Louis Walsh

Louis Walsh on Ireland's Got Talent on Virgin Media One
Louis Walsh on Ireland's Got Talent on Virgin Media One
Louis Walsh. Picture: Brian McEvoy
Melanie Finn

Melanie Finn

Louis Walsh has called on RTE to get rid of some of the “dead wood” if they want to deal with their financial crisis.

The X Factor judge has said he believes there are too many unnecessary people working in the organisation for it to be profitable.

“I think there’s too many people in RTE. Any time I drive into the carpark, there’s about 2,000 cars there – who are all those people and what are they doing?” he told

“They need more fresh faces on it too. They have the same people on repeat. Any time I turn on RTE, they’re showing Mrs Brown’s Boys.

“They’re so much dead wood in RTE and they need to get rid of it all.”

However, he defended the best-known presenters’ large salaries and said they deserve every euro they get as their shows bring in so much advertising revenue.

“They don’t pay the real talent enough nearly enough. People like Ryan Tubridy and Joe Duffy, they’re earning peanuts compared to what presenters earn in America,” he said.

“As an agent, I’m saying that they’re all worth more. Someone like Claire Byrne, she could be working for Fox News in America, she’s that good.

“Yet she’s here working for peanuts.”

The music manager also said they need to cast the net further afield to find and nurture new talent as he reckons RTE draws on such a small pool of contributors.

Meanwhile, he said it’s “brilliant” to be back working with Simon Cowell and Nicole Scherzinger on his new show The X Factor: Celebrity.

He was flown over to Cowell’s house in Malibu recently to start filming on the new ITV programme and said it was amazing to be back working with his old TV pal.

Featuring stars like Megan McKenna and Vinnie Jones, the show will hit the small screens on Saturday October 12 and run until the start of December in a prime-time slot.

“It starts off with 15 celebrities who all have to perform and then we pick the best 12 and then we each get a category to mentor,” he said.

“It’s going to be brilliant and Simon is in great form.

“He’s in a really good place, he looks great, he’s after losing a lot of weight on this special diet,” he said.

Asked about Virgin Media’s decision not to bring back Ireland’s Got Talent, he said it was “their loss” as it was the best entertainment programme on Irish TV.

But he said that former judge Michelle Visage has now gone on to bigger and better things, competing on BBC’s Strictly Come Dancing, while he’s back with the X Factor.

He will shortly be taking centre-stage at the Beauty Blog Awards in House on Leeson Street on October 23 which is being hosted by his IGT pal Lucy Kennedy.

The event, sponsored by TanOrganics, will see him calling for entrants for the Influencers Got Talent award.

He’s also busy managing Westlife’s reunion tour and said he’s confident that their two dates in Cork’s Pairc Ui Caoimh next summer will sell out.

“They’re doing amazing. Their new album is out in November and their recent tour went so well,” he said.


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