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Leo's speech sets new TV record as 1.6 million tune in


Taoiseach Leo Varadkar making his historic St Patrick’s Day speech

Taoiseach Leo Varadkar making his historic St Patrick’s Day speech

Taoiseach Leo Varadkar making his historic St Patrick’s Day speech

A record-breaking 1.6 million viewers watched Tuesday night's broadcast to the nation by Taoiseach Leo Varadkar about the Covid-19 crisis.

The previous all-time high of 1.35 million watched the Late Late Toy Show.

Mr Varadkar made his speech under Section 112 of the Broadcast Act, which allows the Government broadcasting time for announcements in the event of a major emergency.


It has also been shared and viewed countless times around the world as the Taoiseach spoke about this period being the "calm before the storm".

An average of 1.59m viewers tuned in to watch the 9pm segment, RTE figures showed.

A spokesperson said most of RTE's news programmes have been performing strongly throughout the crisis, particularly the Nine O'Clock News and the evening news.

"Six One News with Caitriona Perry, Nine News, Claire Byrne Live and Prime Time all feature in the most-watched programmes over the last few days," the spokesperson said.

Last Friday's Late Late Show - presented with a skeleton audience of experts sitting far apart from each other - was also among the most-watched live shows from March 13 to March 17.

As the message of limit- ing social activities and staying indoors continues to be respected by most of the Irish public, many people are turning to traditional media for their information.

This has seen a surge in television viewership and newspaper sales as the public try to keep their news intake to trusted sources.

Meanwhile, Dancing With The Stars also ended on a high, with the finale pulling in strong figures for RTE One.

Although the broadcaster is not yet releasing exact figures for the last show, it has said it featured at number 11 in the most-watched programmes.

Last Sunday's final saw 2fm broadcaster Lottie Ryan secure an assured victory with professional partner Pasquale La Rocca that allowed them to dance off with the coveted Glitterball Trophy.

The show had to be brought forward by a week after producers ditched the semi-final to move straight to the final because of the Covid-19 outbreak.

Lottie reckoned that her late father, broadcaster Gerry Ryan, had a part to play in her victory.