Wednesday 19 June 2019

Singers will dominate second series of Ireland's Got Talent, says Denise Van Outen

IGT was among programmes and series showcased at Virgin Media Television spring launch

Ireland's Got Talent judges Denise Van Outen and Jason Byrne at the Virgin Media Television spring launch. PIC: Brian McEvoy
Ireland's Got Talent judges Denise Van Outen and Jason Byrne at the Virgin Media Television spring launch. PIC: Brian McEvoy
Sorcha O'Connor

Sorcha O'Connor

It's the year of the singers with plenty of surprises in store for fans of Ireland's Got Talent, according to returning judge Denise Van Outen. 

Speaking to Independent.ie at the Virgin Media Spring launch, the English actress said viewers can expect some Susan Boyle-like moments in the second series of the hit talent show.    

The first series, judged by Van Outen, Louis Walsh, Michelle Visage, and Jason Byrne, was dominated by dance acts with Cork-based troupe RDC walking away with the €50,000 prize money.

However, the success of Evelyn Williams (82) on last year's show has encouraged more singers to come out of the woodwork.

Evelyn Williams earns a Golden Buzzer through to the live shows on the first episode on Ireland's Got Talent
Evelyn Williams earns a Golden Buzzer through to the live shows on the first episode on Ireland's Got Talent

“There are quite a few surprises. Last year we had Evie and she was kind of our one but this year there is a few,” said Denise.  "There is a mix - there is a lot more singers this year."

The new series kicks off next month with contestants aged from six to people in their 80s and Lucy Kennedy will once again perform hosting duties, with Glenda Gilson and James Kavanagh going behind-the-scenes on sister show, Ireland’s Got Mór Talent.

Denise Van Outen, Jason Byrne, Glenda Gilson at Virgin Media Television spring launch. PIC: Brian McEvoy
Denise Van Outen, Jason Byrne, Glenda Gilson at Virgin Media Television spring launch. PIC: Brian McEvoy

Virgin Media Television's spring schedule will also see the return of Red Rock with ten new episodes due to air in the coming weeks, picking up where they left off in May last year.

Sport will be a key for the station this season with the return of the Heineken Champions Cup, the Guinness Six Nations, UEFA Champions League, UEFA Europa League as well as racing festivals Cheltenham and Aintree.

Red Rock actress Denise McCormack at Virgin Media Television launch. PIC: Brian McEvoy
Red Rock actress Denise McCormack at Virgin Media Television launch. PIC: Brian McEvoy

Love Island UK was a massive success for the station last year as viewers watched the trials and tribulations of eventual winners Jack and Dani and their Love Island peers.  Capitalizing on this success, the station will also air Love Island USA as well as Love Island Austrlia, for a second season, on Virgin Media Two.

Also in entertainment, Gogglebox Ireland will return for six special episodes which will see the armchair critics casting their eyes over classic TV from the 80s and 90s.

Love Island 2018 stars Wes Nelson and Megan Barton Hanson at Virgin Media Television spring launch. PIC: Brian McEvoy
Love Island 2018 stars Wes Nelson and Megan Barton Hanson at Virgin Media Television spring launch. PIC: Brian McEvoy

Factual content includes new True Lives documentaries including Paedophile Hunters, Missing: Fiona Sinnott, and Donncha O'Callaghan's Afterlife.  New documentary series Inside Ireland's Biggest Prison, Fota Island, and Doctor in the House will also broadcast this season.

Director of Programming at the station, Bill Malone said the group were hoping to “capitalise on momentum” they had garnered with audiences last year. 

“2018 was a record year for us, record audience – viewing share up 7 per cent last year so our aim is to capitalise on that momentum and the schedule we have now you have really big grand television – you have Six Nations rugby, Champions League, Ireland’s Got Talent, Gogglebox, Love Island," he said.

"There is a lot of really strong programming bringing us into summer time."

While favourites including Ireland Am, Weekend Am, Elaine, Xposé, The Six O'Clock Show and The Tonight Show will return, there will be overseas content too in the form of soaps Emmerdale and Coronation Street as well as entertainment shows The Voice UK, Dancing on Ice, and Britain's Got Talent as well as All Star Musicals 2.

The Jonathan Ross Show, Who Wants to be a Millionaire, This Time Next Year, and new series Cleaning Up, Cold Feet, Cheat, The Bay, Hatton Garden Heist and Midsomer Murders will also broadcast across Virgin Media Television.

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