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Grainne's the ref as RTE sports quiz kicks off

HERE'S the line-up that RTE chiefs hope will match BBC's A Question of Sport in terms of ratings and respect.

Quizmaster and 'referee' Grainne Seoige is flanked by her team captains, GAA legend and pundit Pat Spillane, and top jockey Ruby Walsh.

This is the first sports quiz on Irish screens since the long-running Know Your Sport, which was hosted by commentator George Hamilton.

Seoige's new programme, Put 'Em Under Pressure will hit the small screen for the first time next Sunday. The series will consist of eight episodes.

And with the All-Ireland football final between Kerry and Dublin taking place earlier on the same day, the sports quiz couldn't ask for a better lead-up with audiences guaranteed.

The first programme will see former footballer Kenny Cunningham and retired rugby player Donal Lenihan on Pat Spillane's team.

Ruby Walsh is joined by runner Catherina McKiernan and former Leinster player Malcolm O'Kelly.

The audience will consist of regional sports organisations and clubs.

Each programme will also feature a 'hero segment' and next Sunday will see Grainne focus on Italia 90 hero Packie Bonner.

The BBC's A Question of Sport still manages to pull in huge ratings every week and is now in it's 41st year. It is hosted by former tennis player and BBC sports host Sue Barker, and RTE bosses will be hoping their latest sports quiz can emulate the BBC's success with the long-running format.

Put 'Em Under Pressure marks one of five programmes hosted by Grainne (37) on RTE this year.

The former Daybreak presenter is also hosting Crimecall, as well as the People of the Year Awards and Up For the Match.

She previously fronted The All-Ireland Talent Show which was axed this year.

Its replacement, The Voice, will be hosted by Kathryn Thomas.