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No guarantees for RTE's Hit – U2 producer


Steve Lillywhite. Photo: Getty

Steve Lillywhite. Photo: Getty

Steve Lillywhite. Photo: Getty

HE is the Grammy award-winning producer of U2 who is selecting songs for RTE summer talent show The Hit.

But top music figure Steve Lillywhite says "recording a record and opening a few supermarkets" is the only thing guaranteed for the winner.

"It's up to you. You could be Kelly Clarkson or Carrie Underwood, and make a career out of it or not.


"The scary thing for any acts is they don't find out how the public feels about them until the show ends," Steve said.

This is why the 58-year-old said he signed up to make the pilot and now a full series of the show, which seeks to champion new songs and songwriters.

"It's an original take on these type of talent shows but for songwriters of all ages, it doesn't matter what you look like. It's just about the song," he said.

Airing from late July on Friday nights in the Late Late Show slot on RTE1, The Hit will feature a host of established, yet to be revealed, Irish names and be broadcast live from Dublin's O2 with tickets priced at €5 from www.ticketmaster.ie

Bono will be among those tuning in – with Steve telling the U2 singer about the show at a dinner last week.

"Bono laughed because U2 told me when I first worked with them, I reminded them of a Blue Peter presenter with my go ahead attitude about making records," he said.

In fact, the studio man has produced eight U2 albums, nine if you count The Spiderman soundtrack.

Perfect then to give advice on their latest long player, due out later this year.

"Bono played me the new record and it sounded really good. Having been produced by 'Danger Mouse' (the alias of US producer Brian Joseph Burton) it does have a different sound, but essentially Bono and the Edge are doing the same thing," he said.

The grand final of The Hit takes place on Friday, August 30, where the most popular songs will be performed with the RTE Concert Orchestra and viewers will choose the song of the series.