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€366k wardrobe bill for chat and dramas on RTE

WARDROBE and clothing allowances at RTE came to €366,636 in 2013, with more than €55,000 spent on clothing for Fair City alone.

Meanwhile, the wardrobe bill for the broadcaster's chat shows including the Late Late Show came to almost €20,000.

Costs for Miriam O'Callaghan's chat show that summer came to €6,680.

She told the Herald that this sum includes pay for wardrobe department staff, including overtime and weekend rates.

"The total amount of money I personally get for an entire years worth of clothes from RTE - that's three nights on Prime Time per week and all other additional programmes in Current Affairs, plus my summer chat show is €1,500," Miriam said.


The State broadcaster allocated €214,257 of its annual budget for wardrobe items for staff, guests and contributors last year, which covered the cost of clothes, shoes and accessories.

A further €152,379 was distributed to 238 staff members in clothing allowances last year.

RTE figures show that €67,632 of this accounted for the wardrobe costs of some of the Donnybrook station's top news and current affairs programmes, including RTE News programmes, Prime Time, Nationwide and Morning Edition.

The majority of the money spent in this department went towards the RTE News team, where the wardrobe bill for 2013 amounted to €53,589.

Mary Kennedy and Anne Cassin's rural current affairs programme Nationwide racked up costs of €7,236, while the Prime Time team had a bill to the tune of €3,006.

And Keelin Shanley's Morning Edition, which is broadcast five days a week on RTE One, had costs of just €3,801.

In the television division, the country's longest running soap Fair City, which airs four nights of the week, had a bill of €55,739 for wardrobe items in 2013.

Ryan Tubridy's Late Late Show amassed wardrobe costs of €9,519 for all episodes broadcast throughout 2013, including the Eurosong selection process.

Brendan O'Connor's Saturday Night Show, on RTE One, had a wardrobe bill of €3,564 last year.

Daithi O Se and Maura Derrane's vdaily afternoon chat show Today had wardrobe costs of €3,171 and RTE Two's GAA show The Sunday Game accounted for €2,279.


A spokesperson for RTE said that the figures supplied included wardrobe costs for "freelance and staff presenters, reporters, guests and contributors" working on shows in all departments, which also included sport, promotions, entertainment, young people's, lifestyle and Fair City.

They added that the clothing allowances paid to staff "were processed through RTE's payroll and were subject to PAYE, PRSI and USC reductions".

The national broadcaster is funded by a combination of television licence fees and commercial revenue, largely from TV and radio commercials.