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Dublin: 9 °C Thursday 22 March, 2018

These have been the top 10 most watched TV programmes on RTÉ so far this year

Can you guess what makes it to the top?

CAN YOU GUESS what the most popular programme on RTÉ has been so far this year?

Hint: this guy.


Yes, 851,700 of us tuned in on 4 January for the first episode of the drama Charlie. At the time, our political editor Hugh O’Connell noted that the show had everyone talking and reminiscing as Aidan Gillen “nailed the charismatic, mercurial, calculating and ruthless former taoiseach in looks, voice, and mannerisms”.

Number two on the list will surprise nobody as 760,300 people switched on to watch Ireland beat England in the RBS Six Nations on 1 March. That is over half of the market available at that time.

Source: RBS 6 Nations/YouTube

The Six Nations competition also provided RTÉ with its fourth, fifth and seventh most watched programmes – Ireland v Scotland on 21 March, Ireland v France on 14 March and England v France on 21 March. Remember when France gave us all heart attacks?

Source: Fintan Flannelly/YouTube

There’s an interesting entry at number three on the list with the Nine O’Clock News from 18 January beating out most of the rugby games with 729,300 viewers.

Looking back at what featured in the news that day, we found the lead story was about Leo Varadkar’s personal interview with Miriam O’Callaghan that morning. During the programme, the Health Minister spoke for the first time about being gay.

“I am a gay man, it’s not a secret but it’s not something that everyone would necessarily know, but it isn’t something that I’ve spoken publicly about before,” he said.

“It’s not something that defines me, I’m not a half-Indian politician or a doctor politician, I’m not a gay politician for that matter, it’s just part of who I am,”

In at number six on the list is The Voice of Ireland from 22 February, which was the first of the ‘battle auditions’. An impressive 688,100 people watched as Bressie, Rachel, Kian and Una whittled down their teams.


On 8 February, this little guy melted the hearts of the nation.


And took an episode of Room to Improve into the Top 10 at number eight with 653,400 viewers.

The next day, as it trended on Twitter, called it the best episode ever. It followed the renovation needs of Barry McCabe and Ann Higgins as they transformed their home into a wheelchair-friendly house.

The couple wanted to make place more accessible and comfortable for twelve-year-old Michael, a former student of Ann’s, who visits the couple on respite breaks from his residential care.

When it came to the big reveal at the end of the episode, Bannon and his crew had made significant improvements to the couple’s home with little Michael getting his own bedroom and bathroom, as well as a custom-made dining table.

A new entry into the list this week at number nine is the second part of the Rose of Tralee International Festival.

About 652,300 telly watchers turned on to see Meath’s Elysha Brennan crowned with the Newbridge Silver tiara.


Are you shocked that there hasn’t been a mention of the Eurovision yet? Well, in a number 10 is the Late Late Show from 27 February. What was special about that one?

It was the Eurovision edition of the show, where Ryan introduced Ireland’s prospective entries to the country.

On that night, 645,400 people tuned in. That’s over 44% of the market share at that time.

Related: Just who was Terry Keane, Charlie Haughey’s mistress?

SPOILER ALERT: This is the infamous TV appearance that led to Charlie Haughey’s downfall

Read: “It was really tough and it is tough… I wouldn’t have it any other way”

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