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RTE’s plan on stars’ side hustles hits curveball as TV boss delivers show update



RTE’s plan on stars’ side hustles hits curveball as TV boss delivers show update

THE boss of Dancing With the Stars insists RTE’s Register of Interests plan will not stop Doireann Garrihy and Jennifer Zamparelli returning to the show.

The scheme to force celebs to reveal outside earnings was in tatters last night after chiefs were told they have no legal right to publish the info.

DWTS boss Larry Bass wants Doireann Garrihy and Jennifer Zamparelli to continue their hosting roleCredit: Kyran O Brien
Bass insists RTE’s Register of Interests plan will not stop them returning
RTE boss Kevin Bakhurst’s Register of Interests plans have hit a stumbling blockCredit: Paul Sharp – Commissioned by The Sun Dublin

It emerged yesterday the Data Protection Commission warned RTE — headed by Director General Kevin Bakhurst — that it cannot release details of stars’ approved side gigs unless the law is changed.

But ShinAwiL CEO Larry Bass told the Irish Sun his TV panel of Brian Redmond, Arthur Gourounlian and Lorraine Barry have already spelt out all their deals.

Larry said: “It’s funny this register, as we’ve always been asked by RTE to supply our presenters and judges’ other interests — especially commercial deals.

“We submit it as an appendix with their contract — and we’ve done it for years.”

He added: “As a production company doing shows we’re bringing in people from all walks of life to be presenters or judges.

“RTE wanted to make sure there was no relationship any presenter or judge had which would conflict with RTE or an RTE sponsor.

“For instance, you couldn’t have AIB sponsoring a show and then one of our judges worked for Bank Of Ireland.”

RTE has denied the register sparked departures that rocked 2FM recently.

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The station plunged into chaos after radio hosts quit including Garrihy and Zamparelli.

Bosses planned to publish a quarterly list of presenters’ approved work this summer.

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But that now looks unlikely following a DPC ruling that the legal change can only be introduced by the Minister.

Larry defended former Breakfast host Doireann who hit the headlines last summer when she used a 2FM studio to shoot an ad for a porridge brand without RTE permission.

He told us: “All Doireann has done is try to be a successful businesswoman.


SERIES ONE – 2017: Former Kerry footballer Aidan O’Mahony beat the odds to be crowned Ireland’s first-ever Dancing With The Stars champion alongside pro partner Valeria Milova, beating out former Fair City star Aoibhin Garrihy and Red Rock actress Denise McCormack.

SERIES TWO – 2018: Singer Jake Carter – the younger brother of country crooner Nathan – was just 19 when he nabbed the Glitterball in 2018 with pro dancer Karen Byrne. And the dance partnership later blossomed into love for the popular pair, who confirmed they were dating months after their big win.

SERIES THREE – 2019: Popular presenter Mairead Ronan became the first female winner, landing the Glitterball with Kilkenny dancer John Nolan in 2019. The mum-of-three said her victory was proof “you can do anything you put your mind to”.

SERIES FOUR – 2020: The 2020 series finale was brought forward due to the outbreak of Covid-19, with 2FM star Lottie Ryan left in tears at clinching the trophy with pro partner Pasquale La Rocca.

SERIES FIVE – 2022: Returning to screens in 2022 after a year off in 2021 due to the continuing coronavirus crisis, ex-jockey Nina Carberry became the third woman on the trot to win the Glitterball, marking a second title for pro Pasquale.

SERIES SIX – 2023: RTE 2FM star Carl Mullan was left stunned back in 2023 when he lifted the Glitterball with pro Emily Barker. The underdog came out on top against fellow finalists Brooke Scullion, Suzanne Jackson and Damien McGinty.

SERIES SEVEN – 2024: Paralympian Jason Smyth came out on top as the 2024 series winner, with pro Karen Byrne becoming the second dancer to win the DWTS title twice. The legally blind athlete moved viewers to tears with an emotional showdance to secure the title.

“If you’re a broadcaster working at the top of your game on a radio station aimed at a youth audience, you’re going to have a shelf life, no matter what way you play it. You have to earn at the same time.

“Doireann didn’t get paid a fortune for doing Dancing With The Stars because we don’t have the money to pay anyone a fortune.

‘Brilliant job’

“But she did a brilliant job working for us. I think presenters in Ireland — for the amount of public abuse they get and what they put up with — are underpaid.

“Around the world presenters get paid a lot more. The money they get is hard earned. It’s long hours.

“You might be on air on radio for three hours but you have to spend hours preparing that show and working on the script the next day.

“You’re looking at six hours a day — and the energy you need to do a three-hour radio show is the equivalent of working an eight- hour day of manual labour”.

Stars wanted

The producer stressed he wanted Doireann and Jennifer back hosting Dancing With The Stars next year if they get the go-ahead.

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He insisted the exit of both women from 2FM slots should have no impact on them being on the RTE TV show — running since 2017.

Larry explained: “We didn’t hire Doireann or Jennifer because of what they did on radio. We hired them for what they can do on TV.”

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