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Monday 19 February 2018

Love and hormones in the air for 'Late Late' special

Katie Hopkin puckers up to an audience member during Friday's Late Late Show
Katie Hopkin puckers up to an audience member during Friday's Late Late Show

Claire McCormack

A boisterous, ribald and sometimes chaotic Late Late Show on Friday had viewers wondering if the audience had over-indulged on free champagne before the show.

But though they appeared tipsy, it was just one glass of Late Late house wine, free chocolates and the raging hormones of a studio full of eager singles that sent the show into overdrive.

"High-octane flirts were flying around the place, we all felt like teenagers again just completely excited because everyone was in the same boat - everyone was single," a member of the audience told the Sunday Independent.

From romantic set-ups and dating games to cheeky kisses and frisky remarks, Cupid's arrow was in full flight at RTE studios - a week after Brendan O'Connor's Saturday Night Show topped The Late Late Show in the ratings.

"Everyone just had one glass of wine before the show but no one was drunk, we were all just up for the craic but it was a bit crazy all right," he said adding that lots of banter about the St Valentine's special was posted on Facebook, Snapchat and Twitter.

A spokeswoman for RTE said: "With 200 single people in the audience, it's fair to say that there was a lot of love and excitement in the air".

Before the show the singletons, from all over the country, filled out applications on their dating experience - good and bad - making some nervous about being singled out by host, Ryan Tubridy.

But the first two guests Louis Walsh and controversial British TV personality Katie Hopkins sent giddiness into overdrive.

"Louis set the tone, he was in good form and Katie increased the energy when she kissed and hugged a fella in the audience. One lad's remarks saying he'd 'ride' her were a bit inappropriate but it was still funny," he said.

But rugby legend Ronan O'Gara "killed the buzz altogether," he said. "It might have been a good interview - but craic-wise he just sucked it out of the room completely."

However, when Mr O'Gara responded to a question on the success of his 2,625 point rugby career compared to the achievement of raising five children under the age of six, by saying: "I wouldn't be nervous getting up on Jessica, but I'd be nervous kicking a ball," the audience erupted with laughter and the flirty shenanigans continued.

At times, Tubridy himself appeared a little edgy.

"He looked a bit nervous, he didn't really know what was going to happen next but he finally embraced it and enjoyed it," said the audience member, adding that the brilliant music "kept the crowd going".

"Everyone went mental stamping their feet and clapping their hands to the traditional band from Donegal, I actually thought the set was going to collapse," he said.

Between the commercial breaks the hyper crowd danced on the set while Lily O'Brien's chocolates were handed out.

"The hormones just went crazy, it was like Coppers came to Donnybrook," said the audience member adding that a lot of them went straight to the venue on Harcourt Street after the show.

Sunday Independent

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