Monday 22 January 2018

RTE splashed out €630k on guests and audiences for their top shows


Ryan Tubridy
Ryan Tubridy
Marty Whelan and Sinead Kennedy

RTE spent more than €630,000 on guests and audiences for some of their most popular programmes last year.

More than €512,000 was spent on guests, including appearance fees, transport, accommodation and green room costs.

Meanwhile, expenditure on hospitality for audience members came to almost €119,000.

The Late Late Show ran up the highest bill as it dished out almost €125,000 for some of the talent that appeared on the 37 episodes broadcast in 2014.

Some of host Ryan Tubridy's more memorable guests included Oscar-nominated actor Michael Fassbender, chat show king Graham Norton, Grammy-nominee Hozier and actress-turned-businesswoman Eva Longoria.


Transport and accommodation fees for guests on the world's longest-running chat show stood at a total of €84,677, while an additional €15,101 was spent on green room hospitality.

The figures provided by RTE do not include a breakdown of the expenditure on individual guests or whether they were paid fees.

The Saturday Night Show, which was hosted by Brendan O'Connor (inset) until earlier this year, incurred the second largest bill.

More than €92,025 was spent on guests for the 32 episodes broadcast in 2014.

An additional €58,025 was spent on their transport and accommodation.

Food and beverages for the interviewees and contributors in the green room cost almost €10,000.

Daithi O Se - fresh from his stint hosting the Rose of Tralee - will be reunited with his presenting partner Maura Derrane for their Today show in the coming weeks.

A total of €65,513 was spent on their guests between appearance fees, transport, accommodation and refreshments across the 108 Today episodes last year.

Miriam O'Callaghan's summer chat show - Saturday Night with Miriam - spent €33,168 on guests over eights shows in 2014.

Meanwhile, current affairs programme Prime Time spent just over €10,000 on guest fees, as well as €7,474 on their transport and accommodation costs.

The guest hospitality bill for their 125 broadcasts cost €11,130, an average of just over €89 a episode.

The station spent almost €118,904 on audience hospitality across five shows last year. This usually includes wine, soft drinks and food.


Audience hospitality was the only category in the information released where Winning Streak incurred costs.

The bill came to just over €20,400 over the course of its 40 broadcasts.

An RTE spokeswoman said that the various costs were "industry standard". She added that the station has cut operating costs by almost €130m in recent years.

"In general" the broadcaster pays for guests appearances, an RTE statement said.

However, when a guest or contributor is appearing to promote their work "no fee is usually paid". Politicians do not get paid for appearances.

"Hospitality is also provided to audiences, made up of members of the public who apply to RTE and who travel to be with us from all over the country," she added.

The broadcaster also said that they pay for transport and accommodation for guests in "certain cases". This includes "flights, hotels and ground transportation".

The Herald yesterday revealed that RTE spent more than €2m on travel expenses for staff last year, an increase of almost 10pc on 2013.

They also racked up a bill of €425,000 suiting and booting their on-screen talent.

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