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Daithi hopeful 'Daily Show' will survive RTE cuts

RTE presenter Daithi O Se said he was "hopeful" last night that 'The Daily Show' afternoon programme would return to TV screens in the autumn of 2012.

Reports had suggested that both 'The Daily Show', which Mr O Se presents with co-host Claire Byrne, and sister programme 'Four Live', fronted by Maura Derrane, would be axed in 2012 due to budgetary cuts.

But the Kerry-born presenter told the Irish Independent he hoped his magazine programme was "still in the mix" for slots in next year's autumn schedule.

"RTE obviously have some huge financial commitments next year with Ireland in Euro 2012 and the Olympics, but we think 'The Daily Show' is a strong brand which viewers like," Mr O Se said.

The 'Rose Of Tralee' host said the programme's team only learned in June this year that 'The Daily Show' was returning in the autumn, and he expected a similar situation next year.

Meanwhile, an RTE spokesperson confirmed that the shorter run of both 'The Daily Show' and 'Four Live' this season, with both shows ending in March 2012, rather than April, was due to budgetary cuts at the national broadcaster.

The spokeswoman said that no further comment would be made on the future of both programmes because "2012 budgetary decisions are still being made".

However a station insider told the Irish Independent last night that both 'The Daily Show' and 'Four Live' were still contenders for slots in next year's autumn schedule.

"We haven't finalised plans for autumn programmes in 2012 but both shows are definitely in the mix but no decision can be made until we get a clear picture of likely revenue," said the insider.

Both programmes, produced by Northern Ireland-based production company Green Inc, have run for two seasons on RTE and finish their current runs on March 2.

In 2010 an average of 100,900 people tuned into 'The Daily Show' each day -- this has reduced by only 5,600 in 2011.

But overall, daytime viewing to RTE One is down year-on-year by 2.5pc.

Jessica Meehan, client director in TV with Publicis Media, described the programme as having a "respectable share of viewing" for their core audience of housewives with children.

Irish Independent