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Toy Show and Varadkar's Patrick's Day address most-watched RTÉ broadcasts last year

Normal People is up there too.

Image: RTÉ

MORE THAN 1.5 million people tuned into Leo Varadkar’s St. Patrick’s Day address on RTÉ last year when the then-Taoiseach asked the public to “come together as a nation by staying apart”.

The broadcast was the second most-watched on RTÉ in 2020, with 1,599,000 viewers.

The Nine O’Clock News on the same evening was the third most-watched broadcast of the year, drawing in 1,303,500 viewers.

In his address to the nation on St. Patrick’s Day, Varadkar said that “coronavirus is already having a deep impact on jobs and economic activity and will continue to do so”.

“Some people watching will have seen their jobs lost… businesses closed… or their working hours reduced.  More will be worried that this might happen to them too… especially as we do not know when the Emergency will end,” he said.

The most popular show of the year on RTÉ was the Late Late Toy Show on 27 November, when 1,716,800 people tuned in to watch Ryan Tubridy and children from around Ireland test out toys before Christmas.

2020′s Toy Show was the most-watched of any Toy Show on record.

Normal People had the highest viewership of any show on the RTÉ Player, and an episode that aired on 12 May was the 41st most-viewed on television.

Overall, viewership on the RTÉ Player increased by 36% in 2020.

Director of RTÉ audiences, channels and marketing Adrian Lynch said that “live programme, big events and home-produced content are hugely popular”.

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“Looking at the top 50 programmes, it’s clear that Irish stories and content are the programmes that bring people together,” Lynch said.

“2020 was the year that pushed us to our limits as a nation, and we had to stay apart in order to pull together.”

The top ten most-watched RTÉ broadcasts of 2020 were:

  • The Late Late Toy Show, 27 November, 1,716,800
  • Leo Varadkar’s Broadcast, 17 March, 1,599,000
  • RTÉ News Nine O’Clock, 17 March, 1,303,500
  • RTÉ News Six O’Clock, 30 December, 1,065,700
  • Saturday Game Live Dublin v Mayo, 19 December, 876,600
  • The Late Late Show, 27 March, 875,900
  • Guinness Six Nations France v Ireland, 31 October, 850,300
  • RTÉ News Special, 27 March, 829,300
  • Room to Improve: Dermot’s Home, 5 January, 776,600
  • Sunday Game Live, Limerick V Waterford, 13 December, 712,900

Some other shows that feature on the top 50 list include Dancing With The Stars, Prime Time, Reeling in the Years, Claire Byrne Live, the New Year’s Eve countdown show, Normal People, The Young Offenders, RTÉ Does Comic Relief, Fair City and Coronation Street.

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