RTE is like Church -- all about who you know, claims Louis

Laura Butler

LOUIS Walsh has said RTE is like the Catholic Church -- all about nepotism and "playing the game".

The music mogul, who is in no hurry to go back to work at the national broadcaster, said RTE was laden down with too many staff.

Louis (59) said: "It is like the civil service. It is like the Catholic Church, it rules by power. And if you don't play the game -- you are out.

"TV3 has no budget and it is pushing out all these brilliant TV shows every night. It has one studio and it has this one guy there called Ben Frow who is just changing the way they do things. Talk about a silk purse out of a sow's ear.

"RTE is the exact opposite. There are simply too many people in RTE and they are still there from when the place opened."

The Mayo man added: "It's the same with radio, it's so old fashioned with the same old faces. It needs new blood and new talent but it won't do that because the old guard would lose control. And we, the people, are paying for this and it is crazy because it's just as bad as politics. You have to be married to someone, or related to someone to get a job. It's nepotism and it's their way or no way."

And the X Factor judge, who plans to pen his tell-all autobiography later this year, noted that the station's stars were not good enough to make it in the UK.

"Have you noticed that none of the 'big names' in RTE have been nicked by the BBC, ITV or Channel 4? There's a reason for that -- and it's that nobody wants them."

Louis also admitted he "wasn't surprised" when RTE current affairs boss Ed Mulhall stepped down after the Prime Time scandal.

"The reports came out this week and what happened? One guy was moved sideways and a guy who was retiring retired."

Louis commented on Ronan Keating's split with wife Yvonne and his move to Australia. "We used to send our convicts there -- now we send Brian McFadden and Ronan," he said.