herald

Wednesday 20 September 2017

RTE mulling over Dermot's offer to host Roses

RTE is keeping mum about whether they'll snap up Dermot O'Leary (36) as the new Rose of Tralee host.

The popular X Factor presenter has made the surprising admission that he would love to take over the slot vacated by Ray D'Arcy in a move that would no doubt prove a massive boost to the festival.

But the national broadcaster is determined to keep everyone guessing when it comes to who will take over the gig next August. "RTE are currently looking at a number of presenters who may be suitable for the position, all of whom are strong contenders," she said.

Asked about who was responsible for picking the new presenter, she confirmed the decision lay primarily with RTE with "input and co-operation" from the Rose of Tralee festival committee. The decision will be made in about a month's time.

Meanwhile, Dermot's unexpected campaign to take on the Rose of Tralee gig has received some support from an unlikely source -- Daithi O'Se (34).

Despite still being the 2/1 favourite to take the slot himself, the Kerryman clearly welcomes the competition from the X Factor presenter.

"I think he's a great presenter and he's used to doing all the live stuff from the X Factor so he would be great at it," he said. "This is one of the biggest gigs out there, it's on par with the Late Late Toy Show in terms of ratings and he would be well able for it."

Daithi, who jetted off to Canada this week for his new show, added how no one on the committee has approached him and there's "no rush" among organisers to pick a presenter for the August event.

Other personal favourites for the TG4 star, who is a regular on the Rose of Tralee judging panel as well as acting chairman, include Marty Whelan and Aidan Power.

And now that half-Irish star Dermot has been installed with odds of 5/1, there's some extra competition for the coveted gig, which was vacated after Ray D'Arcy stepped down from it last month.

The housewives' favourite is over in Dublin for the Irish round of X Factor auditions as Simon Cowell's hit programme hunts for the next Leona Lewis among the throngs of fame seekers.

Asked if he still stood by comments he made previously about wanting the gig, he replied: "Hell yeah, when do I start? RTE, I'm here in Dublin, come and court me!"

The TV heart-throb added how he "might be free around then" for the August competition, provided his family's home county of Wexford were well represented.

He added how he "grew up watching the competition" and has been on the look out of new projects.

mfinn@herald.ie

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