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Late Late Show

From lamb carousel to Katie Hopkins: 8 times the Late Late Show had people talking this year

RTÉ’s flagship talk show had a number of stand out moments in 2016.

IT WAS A bumper year for the RTÉ’s Late Late Show with a mixture of high-profile guests getting the nation talking for different reasons.

RTÉ’s flagship talk show (now coming into its 55th year) was at the forefront of a number of debates and conversations – some inspiring and commended, and others not so much.

Here are eight of the top segments that got the nation talking.

1. Blindboy Boatclub nails it – Twice! (8 January + 18 November)

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In what was to become a mainstay of 2016, Blindboy Boatclub (one half of performance duo the Rubberbandits) talked a lot of sense on topics such as Irish history, politics, society and contemporary culture.

The well-spoken artist with a plastic bag over his head captured the interest and admiration of the viewing public with his honest, well-articulated views which echoed those of the younger generation around Ireland

This was to be repeated a lot throughout 2016, with the musician speaking well on themes such as mental health, education and suicide.

He was back on the Late Late Show in November, explaining why Irish men need feminism and talking sense once again.

2. Katie Hopkins and the Valentine’s Day special (13 February)

At the other end of the spectrum, controversial English commentator and personality Katie Hopkins also appeared on the show during a special Valentine’s Day episode.

Hopkins was to appear again on the show in November in more controversial circumstances, following the election of Donald Trump as US president.

However, her Valentine’s Day appearance carried its own peculiar brand of madness, with the audience made up of single men and women who seemed to have enjoyed a pre-show tipple (they were a rowdy bunch, to say the least). There were conga lines, blind dates and kissing galore.

Not to be outdone by the raucous crowd, Hopkins managed to lobby insults at people from all walks of life and even got a kiss and a hug from some brave would-be suitors.

download (59) Screengrab / RTE Screengrab / RTE / RTE

It’s okay though, it’s not like there were any frightened animals locked into a carousel and spun around. Oh, wait…

3. Lamb Carousel (22 January)

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Eh, this show had Galway entrepreneur TJ Gormley displaying his new invention for tagging lambs in a more humane way.

However the first lamb he placed in it looked rather frightened, with host Ryan Tubridy questioning whether it was in any distress.

“The poor little head on him!” he exclaimed.

The broadcaster confirmed that it received a number of complaints over this segment.

In a second fluffy animal-related incident, a sheep was sheared live in quick speed in September. Why? Why not.


4. John Spillane and the Sugarhill Gang (4 November)

No introduction needed.

The Late Late Show / YouTube

5. Maureen Allman talks about having terminal cancer (7 May)

In one of this year’s more touching segments, Galway woman Maureen Allman spoke about having terminal cancer.

The positive, upbeat woman spoke candidly about her life and her illness, affecting many viewers with her story.

maureen RTE RTE

It was a bittersweet, emotional interview, with Maureen summing up her approach to life in her closing words:

Honestly, to get up in the morning and go to bed at night, have no regrets in between and be able to close my eyes and sleep well. That’s a good day for me.

6. Jason McAteer opens up about depression (30 September)


Retired international soccer player Jason McAteer also provided this year with one of its most memorable segments, when he opened up about his battle with depression:

It’s literally, like a light switch the day you finish – you go home, and there’s nothing there, you’re not going in the next day, your friends are not there, there’s no [club] doctor – and it’s very very difficult. I suffered a bad bout of depression.

8. Johanne Powell on caring for her disabled daughter (25 November)

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In what was almost certainly the most heart-wrenching segment of the entire season, mother Johanne Powell gave a brutally honest interview about the frustration, loneliness and sadness she feels caring for her profoundly disabled daughter Siobhan.

Siobhan was born in 1983, and Johanne spoke out about how hard it was caring for her throughout the years.

“It’s not that you want away, because you don’t,” she said.

You love her, but at the same time there’s a child there that you thought you were going to have and that you never met. I would love to meet the child that Siobhan could have been if she didn’t have the chromosome disorder.

8.  Olivia and Lauren – with Fifi and Graham (18 March)

And last (but certainly not least), the nation’s collective heart melted when two young girls showed off their specially trained dogs to help them walk wherever they need to go.

The Late Late Show / YouTube

All in all, 2016 was certsainly a varied year for the Late Late Show.

Read: Jason McAteer: “Depression takes a hold of you and you think it’s the norm”

Read: Oliver Callan tore into the political elite on last night’s Late Late

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