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Wednesday 29 November 2023 Dublin: 2°C
BBC Famous faces in the BBC gallery for yesterday's All Ireland Football Final
All-Ireland Football Final

Peak audience of 0.8 million tuned in for BBC's first national broadcast of an All-Ireland final

Academy Award nominee Paul Mescal, Line of Duty’s Adrian Dunbar, Late Late Show host Patrick Kielty, and comedian Dara Ó Briain all featured in the coverage.

A PEAK AUDIENCE of 0.8 million tuned in to watch the first BBC national broadcast of an All-Ireland Gaelic football final.

Dublin beat Kerry yesterday by 1-15 to 1-13 to reclaim the Sam Maguire title at Croke Park.

The game was broadcast live across the UK on BBC 2 for the first time ever and a host of famous faces joined the broadcaster’s line-up.

Academy Award nominee Paul Mescal, Line of Duty’s Adrian Dunbar, the next Late Late Show host Patrick Kielty, and comedian Dara Ó Briain all featured in the BBC’s coverage.

Comedian David O’Doherty also made a surprise appearance in the BBC gallery.

Ó Briain said he was “delighted to be part of the first BBC national broadcast of the final” and added that he was in “such good company”.

He also joked: “Obviously after the final we all parted company quietly to return to our homes and reflect; and I am not HANGIN’.”

Normal People star Paul Mescal played Gaelic football for Kildare at minor level and noted that he had lined up against some of the current Dublin crop “for my sins”.

He told the BBC: “For a lot of us, it was the defining factor of my childhood and teenage years. I’ve marked (players) Con O’Callaghan, (Ryan) Basquel and Cormac Costello.

“They are fantastic footballers, but they’re very difficult to mark.”

Mescal said it was “so hard to quantify” how much he missed playing the game, adding: “The world of acting and Gaelic football don’t seem to match up very well.

“I broke my jaw two days before starting my final year of drama school and that was the nail in the coffin.”

Meanwhile Kielty, who was a member of the Down football team that won the 1987 All Ireland Minor Football Championship, described the final as a “bucket list event” for people in and outside of Ireland.

“This is the Irish Superbowl,” he told the BBC.

There was also a tribute to Sinéad O’Connor in Croke Park previous to yesterday’s game, and Ó Briain said: “The country is in mourning still because we all knew her and we all loved her and it’s (Croke Park) as good a spot as any to find all of Ireland together to mark that.”

Elsewhere, an average of 971,000 people were watching The Sunday Game Live on RTÉ2 yesterday, while there were 181,000 streams on RTÉ Player.

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