It's no laughing matter, Mario's show won't be screened in 2014
COMEDIAN Mario Rosenstock's top-rated show has been "delayed" and won't be returning to our screens this year.
Despite being well-received by viewers, the Herald can reveal his satirical show won't feature on RTE's autumn schedule launch in what will come as a huge surprise to his fans.
The renowned impersonator (43) has also been in talks with TV3 as he keeps his options open, saying that "nothing is set in stone".
Meanwhile, his rival Oliver Callan's new comedy sketch show has moved into the Late Late Show slot on RTE One for a six-week run.
Written by Callan and Republic of Telly creator James Cotter, the show had its TV pilot on New Year's Eve before being given a summer slot.
Gift Grub creator Mario revealed that he has been in negotiations with RTE about making a third series of his programme.
But he said he was going to be too busy with his new nationwide tour to make the TV show this year.
His 'Rosenstock Show' director, Damien Farrell, is also working on the new Star Wars movie at the moment.
"There was a lot of to-ing and fro-ing between myself and RTE. It's a case of watch this space. They wanted me to do a series in the autumn but I'm on tour then so I had to put it back," Mario said.
"There's talks with RTE about something a lot more ambitious so that's also why the show has been delayed."
He also confirmed that he had been approached by TV3 about possible future projects. The Ballymount station first featured his hilarious impersonations on the Vincent Browne show before he was poached by RTE to make two series of his hit TV show.
"Nothing is set in stone anywhere and I do have a good relationship with TV3. I started with them after all and had a great time working with them," he continued.
He's also flying high with his stage shows, Gift Grub Live, having recently performed to 3,500 fans at the Live at the Marquee in Cork festival, which he said was "amazing."
Rosenstock is now gearing up to take to the road again with a new nationwide Gift Grub tour which will start in late September and run until the start of December.
A spokeswoman for RTE said they were hopeful of working with Mario in the future.
"We are in talks for the next series of his show as it performed really well for RTE2 and he's a talent we really admire," she said.
Asked if it was a case of choosing Callan's sketch show over Mario's, she replied: "That's not the case. "
She added that Oliver's show was a six-part series running for the summer months.
Mario's show enjoyed massive success with Irish audiences when it first aired in November 2012.
This was swifly followed by a second installament in September 2013 as the nation gobbled up his impersonations - with RTE commissioning it before the first one was even finished its run.
Rosenstock, who can do 22 impersonations in two minutes, has pilloried everyone from Miriam O'Callaghan, Donal Skehan, Jose Mourinho and Marty Morrissey.
But he cited mum-of-eight Miriam as his favourite character to take off, giving her the catch-phrase of 'genuinely.'
For her part, she said she took it as a huge compliment and wasn't in the least bit offended by his comedy sketches - but she's now more careful about using the word 'genuinely' on TV now.