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Jamie Heaslip celebrates Ireland's win over France. James Crombie/INPHO
Champions

The Toy Show still rules, but rugby was a huge ratings-winner for TV3

Only one Irish game missed out on the top 20.

THE LATE LATE Toy Show was the most-watched TV show in Ireland last year.

The lure of Ryan Tubridy, kids on bikes and an earnest discussion about books for children proved too much for 1.5 million people who tuned in.

While RTÉ aired 15 of the top 20 most-watched shows last year, the figures show that TV3′s decision to purchase the rights for the Rugby World Cup was a wise one.

The competition occupied the second, third, fourth, tenth and 16th spots on the top 20, with Ireland’s 24-9 win over France the highest-rated, being viewed by 1.1 million people.

Ireland’s Pool D opener against Canada was the only Irish game to miss out on the list.

The crushing loss to Argentina in the competition’s quarter-finals came in third, with 1.09 million viewers.

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Can’t read the table? Click here for a larger version.

Ireland’s win over Italy in the Rugby World Cup and Dublin’s All-Ireland football final win over Kerry round out the top five, while 688,000 people tuned in to England v Australia, making that the 16th-most-watched show last year.

The Irish football team’s win over Bosnia and the loss to Poland, as well as the two All-Ireland football semi-finals between Dublin and Mayo also make the top 20, as does Ireland’s Six Nations encounter with England.

Away from sport, RTÉ’s drama Charlie, tracking the life of Charles Haughey, came in sixth, the opening episode garnering 851,000 viewers. Mrs Brown’s Boys came in ninth and 12th with its Mammy’s Widow’s Memories and Mammy’s Christmas Punch specials. They brought in 766,000 and 749,000 views, respectively.

The Nine O’Clock News broadcast on 18 January, after Health Minister Leo Varadkar had revealed he was gay on RTÉ radio was in 14th, The Late Late Show Country Music Special was in 15th with 719,000 viewers, The Voice of Ireland 22 February episode was in 17th and the episode of Room to Improve which saw Dermot Bannon renovate a rural bungalow in Baltinglass was in 20th.

Read: These were the most watched films in Ireland in 2015

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