RTE chat show guests quaffed more than €75,000 worth of drinks on its top three shows last year, it has been revealed.
The cash-strapped State broadcaster, which revealed last month it operated at a deficit of €6.4million in 2017, forked out more than €200,000 on guests to appear in its three top talk shows – The Late Late, The Ray D’Arcy Show and Saturday Night With Miriam.
According to documents obtained through the Freedom of Information Act, over half of that figure was handed out to guests appearing on the Late Late.
RTE bosses forked out €105,312 for the Ryan Tubridy- fronted chat show over 37 episodes.
The Ray D’Arcy Show racked up a bill of €83,359 over the course of 12 months to host the 32 episodes. The total cost for Miriam O’Callaghan’s summer time chat show amounted to €20,993.
In the document, RTE outlined they do not provide payment to guests who are on programmes to promote something.
The FOI response stated: “In general, RTE pays for guests [which include contributors and musicians] to appear in their prime time entertainment programmes.
“However, where the guest is promoting a film, album, programme or book etc, no fee is usually paid.”
The Late Late Show, which has a weekly studio audience of 200 people, was the most costly, spending €34,400 over the year – an average of €187 per episode.
RTE stated beverages costs include spirits, wine, beer and soft drinks.
When contacted by the Irish Sunday Mirror last night, a spokesman for RTE said the bill for guests is “an essential ingredient” of any entertainment show.
They added: “The three shows referenced comprise approximately 80 episodes of prime time live television each year. That’s over approximately 130 hours.”
Source: Celebrity News Ireland