Thursday 21 March 2019

Late Late Valentine's special wins ratings battle as complaints drop

James Hennessy and Siobhan Hiney
James Hennessy and Siobhan Hiney

The Late Late Show's Valentine's special was a ratings winner for RTE - but not everyone was impressed.

The station received a total of 13 notes of negative feedback from the public, 10 emails and three phone calls, while no formal complaints to RTE were made in relation to the show.


However, the broadcaster also said that both the RTE Information Office and the Late Late Show team were contacted by viewers who offered positive feedback on the episode.

It seems the show tamed its ways over the last 12 months as the 2017 Valentine's episode was inundated with 176 calls and 120 emails offering "negative feedback" on the show, which featured appearances by Eurovision star Linda Martin and comedian Al Porter.

Always one of the most popular episodes of the chat show, this year's Valentine's special drew an average audience of 520,100, a slight dip from last year's show when 568,400 viewers tuned in.

Friday night's episode drew 46.37pc of the TV audience, while viewership peaked at 622,500.

The total reach of viewers who tuned in at some point was 1,046,400.

The episode featured several memorable moments, most notably when a couple got engaged live on air.

James Hennessy (28) proposed to his partner Siobhan Hiney (23) during a fake game of Mr And Mrs, getting down on one knee before a visibly shocked Siobhan finally said "yes".

Her response was met with a rapturous "Ole Ole Ole" from 200 singletons in the audience.

Viewers were also introduced to "Colm from Dungarvan" whose mother joined him on stage to help him in his pursuit for love in the style of Blind Date.

TV and radio presenter Doireann Garrihy also made an appearance and chatted to host Ryan Tubridy about the Irish dating scene, saying that she thinks it's harder these days for singletons to meet someone.

"Gone are the days of getting dolled up to the nines and going out and meeting the one.

"It's harder than that these days. There's online dating, people get it at the tap of a finger.


"Don't look for it too hard. Don't have the smell of want off you, as my sister would say," she said.

However, the Dubliner ultimately has a positive outlook on the dating scene for Irish singletons, saying: "It's not all that grim."

The show prompted hundreds of tweets from viewers who compared the episode to a university's rag week.

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