Friday 21 October 2016

Ruth's return from the US for RTE gig shows one thing - I can't spot talent

Ruth O'Neill
Ruth O'Neill

It's exactly six years since I last saw Ruth O'Neill, the former Irish model who applied to become a presenter on TV3's Xpose back in 2009, by entering the show Total Xposure, on which I was a judge.

After berating Ruth for her south county Dublin accent, she only managed to finish third in the contest and, her dreams of a TV career in tatters, left Ireland to seek solace LA.

Since then, Ruth has worked her way up through the ranks of US television and, through a combination of hard work and a laid-back, charming personality, secured a presenting gig on entertainment channel E!.

Now comes the news that Ruth has returned to her home town in order to front RTE's new show, Bounce, an entertainment show which will, ironically enough, take on Xpose, the very show that turned her down six years ago.

It would be unwise at this juncture to crack open the champagne on Ruth's behalf, given the somewhat chequered history of Bounce thus far. When first announced over two years ago, RTE's rival to Xpose was going to be fronted by Vogue Williams, Daniella Moyles and Paul Galvin.

In the intervening time, the names associated with the project have been dizzying in their multitude - Rosanna Davison, Nadia Forde, Madeline Mulqueen, Nicola Hughes and Diana Bunici, as well as the original suspects of Vogue and Daniella.

The general consensus, however, is that Eoghan McDermott and Ruth O'Neill are set to be the two main presenters. And the fact that I have previously dismissed the career possibilities of both in very forceful terms - calling Eoghan "shouty" and "cheesy", and dismissing Ruth's ability to do little except look pretty, has at least clarified one thing without question.

When it comes to spotting talent, I know absolutely nothing.

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