herald

Sunday 17 December 2017

Ronan O'Gara says 'sorry' to wife Jessica for quip as 90 complain about Late Late

Ronan O'Gara and his wife Jessica
Ronan O'Gara and his wife Jessica

Retired rugby star Ronan O'Gara has apologised to his wife Jessica for his "poor joke" on the Late Late Show.

The former Munster and Ireland player raised eyebrows when he joked with host Ryan Turbidy about his wife on Friday night's broadcast.

"I wouldn't be nervous getting up on Jessica but I would be nervous kicking a ball," he quipped.

The Cork rugby star took to social media yesterday to apologise for the comment.

JOKE

"Back home in Paris. I have apologised to Jessica and I'm also sorry if I offended anyone else with my very poor joke on RTE's Late Late Show," he posted.

Last Friday's instalment of the show was something of a departure from the norm for Ireland's longest running chat show.

Host Ryan Tubridy was joined by ever-controversial columnist Katie Hopkins, retired rugby player O'Gara and Angela Bermudo of Seeking Arrangement.

RTE also sought only single people to fill its 200-person audience.

A representative for the station told the Herald they received 90 complaints about Friday night's broadcast.

Described by some viewers as "car crash TV", the Valentine's special (inset below) generated 53 calls and 37 email complaints.

FORMAL

A spokeswoman said that a "small number" of formal complaints have also been lodged.

That represents only a small fraction of the show's viewers, RTE said.

"To put the figures into context, in 2011 we received 350 calls following a panel discussion on the Late Late with Neil Delamere and Paul Costello following the Queen's visit to Ireland," the spokeswoman added.

Last week's Late Late viewership jumped by 70,000 to 571,000 compared to the previous week.

hnews@herald.ie

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