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25th Sep 2023

One of RTÉ’s most popular shows could reportedly get axed next year

The last dance.

One of RTÉ’s most popular shows Dancing With The Stars reportedly could get axed next year alongside other reality shows as the national broadcaster looks set for a shake-up.

According to the Irish Mail on Sunday (Via Extra.ie), a source said that RTÉ are planning to have ‘fewer shiny floor shows’ on their schedule and more documentaries, drama and children’s programmes.

Dancing with the Stars – one of RTÉ’s most popular shows – could reportedly get axed next year.

“The independent television production sector are the unsung people who have suffered from every single belt-tightening exercise at RTÉ,” the source said.

“But the noises we’re getting is they want to outsource more content and that will be part of Bakhurst’s new plan.

“It’s good news because the ‘shiny floor shows’ are concentrated with just a tiny number of production companies. It would be good if other smaller companies get a slice of the cake too. All these things will be important when RTÉ goes looking for handouts.

“Reality shows are not good public service content. We may have seen the last of Dancing With The Stars.”

The show is, however, currently set to return in January for a new season.

In a statement in late August, the broadcaster announced its upcoming season, which will “deliver a broad range of unique Irish content to serve a wide range of audiences, from impactful documentaries to national cultural events, climate programming, series reflecting real Irish lives with prime-time programming as Gaeilge, brand-new Irish entertainment shows, the largest selection of Irish drama and Sport, and a broad slate of content for Ireland’s youngest citizens.”

RTÉ looking to usher in new era for broadcaster

Earlier in the month, RTÉ finally put the Late Late Show debacle behind them as Patrick Kielty stepped out in the studio for the first time.

The new host’s first show saw a peak audience of 934,000 tuning in, with RTÉ Player streams at 158,000, making it the strongest-ever Late Late Show opening on the Player.

However, the broadcaster made headlines once again for the wrong reasons after it was noted that they were looking to hire a Fair City photographer on a €60,000 a year contract.

The amount of money being offered for the position raised eyebrows last week, particularly in the wake of the RTÉ secret payments scandal that broke in June and the financial crisis the broadcaster is facing.

In a statement, Director General Kevin Bakhurst said: “Given the steep fall in the licence fee and the uncertainty over interim funding, and following last week’s announcements, we have decided to halt the current tender process for Fair City photography.”

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