Ray D'Arcy: 'England rugby match gave my ratings a real mauling'
Ray D'Arcy believes RTE bosses should have delayed the transmission of his Saturday night chat show to prevent it going up against the Rugby World Cup.
The second instalment of the Ray D'Arcy show lost 107,000 viewers compared with his debut the previous week, as people flocked to TV3 to catch the England v Australia game.
"I wouldn't be too worried about that," he told the Herald.
"Nearly 700,000 people watched the rugby - we enjoy seeing England lose. It's a national hobby.
"But the only thing is, I suppose, the schedulers should have looked at that and maybe held off having us on until after the game was over," he added.
However, Ray did admit there were nerves ahead of his first show.
"Ah yeah, there was a lot of pressure leading up to it. I really enjoyed the first show - it's the best craic I've had since the Den. Donncha O'Callaghan was the perfect first guest," he said.
His show has just kicked off and Ray believes it's a marathon not a sprint when it comes to a new format.
"We've done two out of 32 shows, so it's a marathon," he said.
"It's like I've run marathons in the past, I'm enjoying it but I know that there is a long way to go."
Ray took over the Saturday night slot from Brendan O'Connor and the set has also been given a facelift.
"I like what they've done with the place. I had an input - and my wife Jenny actually picked out the couch," he said.
There has been a much-talked about rivalry between Ray and Ryan Tubridy's Late Late Show, but the 51-year-old said they're not in competition for guests.
"There hasn't been any crossover yet, we're going for people who the Late Late wouldn't have gone after," he said.
"Take Timothy V Murphy, for example, he used to be in Glenroe and he was a great guest - but he wouldn't have been on their radar.
"We have to be more nimble and more creative because we're new."
Last weekend, Ray's interview with rape victim Niamh Ni Dhomhnaill garnered a lot of attention, but Ray said he's not aiming for his guests to make the headlines.
"The main priority is getting somebody that people want to sit down and watch for an hour-and-a-quarter at home after a glass of wine and a takeaway. If anything else happens, that's a bonus," he said.
When it comes to criticism, Ray said he doesn't pay much attention to it.
"I've been doing this for many years, I'm sort of thick-skinned at this stage," he said.
Meanwhile, it was announced yesterday that the Ray D'Arcy Show would be the new radio partner for the ninth series of Operation Transformation.
Ray said he thinks his 3pm show is the "perfect fit" to work with the weight-loss reality programme.
"I've been into fitness and healthy living for a long time," he said.
"We'll be doing it towards the end of the show and a lot of people who call in at that time are making dinner, so I think that will work well.
"I think it's a very important show. It gives people who are struggling with their weight a focus and a great sense that they are not on their own," he added.
Kathryn Thomas will once again be fronting the show.
She said: "I just love the positivity of the show. I love everything that it stands for. I love the feeling of support from the country as a whole."
"It's real public service broadcasting at its best - we make a difference and have the Minister for Health talking about the show."