Tuesday 20 March 2018

Record ratings for Miriam on New Year's Eve show

Ken Sweeney

Ken Sweeney

Broadcaster Miriam O'Callaghan was celebrating last night after attracting record viewing figures when ringing in the new year.

RTE's New Year's Eve programme, traditionally a ratings disaster, bucked the trend this year, attracting an average of 689,000 viewers and a 52pc audience share.

As the clock struck midnight, just short of one million people tuned in.

The average figures were nearly double the number a year earlier when Grainne Seoige hosted a New Year's Eve special of the 'All Ireland Talent Show', which attracted 375,000 viewers and 31pc share.

"I was really worried because New Year's Eve is a funny night," Ms O'Callaghan revealed.

"I knew it was a challenge but we turned something which had small viewers last year into mega viewers this year. I want to thank every single viewer."

Ms O'Callaghan's show also celebrated the 50th anniversary of the launch of RTE television and she said it had a "huge personal significance" as her friend, the late Eamon Andrews, hosted the first broadcast by RTE from the Gresham Hotel on New Year's Eve in 1961.

"Eamon was my first boss and mentor when I started work on 'This Is Your Life' in 1984," the mother of eight said.

"I was a researcher back then but Eamon always told me I would make a great presenter.

"Sadly Eamon died before I ended up in front of the camera but it was wonderful and special to be following in his footsteps."

The two-hour marathon boasted a line-up of stars past and present including pop twins Jedward, showband star Brendan Bowyer, and comedians including Niall Toibin, Pat Shortt, PJ Gallagher, and Brendan Grace.

Irish Independent

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