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RTÉ searches for Tiernan sponsor as D'Arcy run to end in December



‘Water-cooler moments’: Comedian Tommy Tiernan. Photo: Collins

‘Water-cooler moments’: Comedian Tommy Tiernan. Photo: Collins

‘Water-cooler moments’: Comedian Tommy Tiernan. Photo: Collins

RTÉ is seeking €120,000 in sponsorship for a new Saturday night primetime slot featuring Tommy Tiernan - starting on January 4 - as it shortens Ray D'Arcy's weekend run.

The presenter, whose €450,000 salary makes him the second highest-paid broadcaster in the organisation, has been at the centre of speculation in recent times about the future of his TV programme.

His fifth series of chat-shows will come to an end in December and he will be replaced by Tiernan when the comedian takes over the coveted 9.30pm slot with a 10-week run in a major schedule reshuffle.

The funnyman's chat show - which had an average audience of more than 300,000 over the summer - will run until the middle of March. D'Arcy's show attracts similar viewing figures.

Described by RTÉ as a "master of improvisation and thinking on his feet", a publicity blurb said that Tiernan's series has produced "many water-cooler moments", including memorable chats with U2's Adam Clayton and actor Barry Keoghan.

Furthermore, a new Saturday night programme featuring a female presenter has gone into pre-production, with five different presenters being invited to screen-test for the 2020 show.

An RTÉ spokesperson said D'Arcy would still be returning to the channel in 2020 and they were "very happy" with the ratings for his Saturday night show.

It's understood it will run later in the new year, perhaps in the autumn.

Irish Independent