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RTE's Masterchef has winning recipe over Come Dine With me

RTE'S Masterchef cooked up the winning recipe for viewers to beat TV3's Come Dine With Me in the ratings battle.

Despite a strong premiere, Come Dine With Me Ireland suffered a huge drop in ratings over its first season, while Masterchef Ireland, which ended on Thursday, increased its viewers.

An RTE spokeswoman confirmed that the last episode of Masterchef attracted 25pc of the Irish audience -- an average of 395,000 viewers.

"It was the top rating show for the 15 to 34 year-old [age range]," the spokeswoman said.

"It was a really strong performance for that slot [9.30pm to 10.30pm], last Tuesday night was similar with 410,000 viewers watching the show -- the highest of the season.

"We're delighted, the response has been universally positive which doesn't happen every day of the week -- it's really gratifying."

While the amateur chef competition ended on a high note, the opposite is true for Come Dine With Me Ireland.

The first episode of the new TV3 series attracted an average of 478,600 foodies, but the rest of the series plummeted to 347,000 viewers per episode, the Herald has learned.

A source told the Herald that the drop in ratings was to be expected as "everyone tends to tune in to reality shows on the first day to decide if they like it or not".

The reality programme debuted in the Republic on June 6 to the delight of fans of the show who had petitioned for a home-grown version for more than two years.

After episodes in Cork, Dublin, Waterford, Galway and Limerick, the first season ended in the Irish capital with another five amateur chefs hoping to take away the €1,000 prize for the best evening of the week.

Meanwhile, an insider revealed that RTE could soon be commissioning a second season of Masterchef Ireland.

"It was a very successful experiment so RTE will be continuing it no doubt," the source said.

hnews@herald.ie