Wednesday 22 November 2017

'Saturday Night Show' spends more on guests than flagship 'Late Late'

'The Saturday Night Show' host Brendan O'Connor
'The Saturday Night Show' host Brendan O'Connor
Ryan Tubridy

Eimear Rabbitte

RTE's 'Saturday Night Show' spends more money on guests than the 'Late Late Show'.

Between the two weekend chat shows, RTE forked out more than €250,000 last year.

But it will comes as a surprise that Brendan O'Connor's guests cost more than those on Ryan Tubridy's show.

Figures obtained under the Freedom of Information Act show the total amount spent on 'Late Late' guests for the year 2012 was €122,018 – an average €3,298 per episode.

'The Saturday Night Show' spent €134,529, or €4,204 per show. Guest expenses on 'Today' totalled just €431 per episode.

According to RTE, where an act is promoting a film, album, programme, or book, no fee is normally paid.

The guest fees included payment for musical acts.

In contrast, new daytime show, 'Today', spent just over €14,000 on guests.

When it came to food and drink, 'The Late Late Show' and 'Saturday Night Show' spent under €100,000 between them.

'The Late Late' forked out more than double 'The Saturday Night Show' on hospitality, including tea, coffee and sandwiches.

Its food bill for the green room and audience reception last year was €35,927, or €971 per episode. The corresponding amounts on 'Saturday Night' and 'Today' were €16,516, or €516 per episode, and €982 or €29 per episode respectively.

'The Late Late' is the longest running chat show in the world, and guests for 2012 included Liverpool football captain Steven Gerrard, ex-Oasis star Noel Gallagher, Bono, Liam Neeson, Imelda May, model boss Andrea Roche and Michael O'Leary.

'The Saturday Night Show' enjoyed a coup when Michael Buble was on in November 2012, while in January 2012, chef Antony Worrall Thompson gave his first television interview since his arrest for shoplifting.

'Today' bills were significantly lower as the daytime show, hosted by Daithi O Se and Maura Derrane, does not have a studio audience.

Irish Independent

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