Ratings for Patrick Kielty’s Late Late Show fell for the second year in a row.
The 52-year-old joker took over the moderation RTEs flagship chat show early last month.
With Kielty at the helm, the entire set underwent a transformation, with several guests taking to the stage at the same time to chat to the Co-Down man.
Its highly anticipated debut was a huge success: an average of 830,000 people tuned in – 62 percent of all television viewers.
And Kielty’s first episode was seen by 934,000 viewers at its peak.
However, those numbers dropped sharply, as an average of 548,000 people watched the second episode – a massive 34 percent drop.
And last Friday the numbers for The Late Late collapsed again: an average of 486,000 viewers tuned in – just 45 percent of the television audience.
RTE bosses are hoping for a rebound as this Friday’s show will be Patrick’s first ever Late Late Country special.
The presenter will be joined by only the best of the Irish country scene to celebrate the music that fills dance halls across the country.
However, despite RTE’s attempts to impress, viewers said a particular part of the late-night chat show “doesn’t work” and becomes “boring”.
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With multiple guests speaking and interacting at the same time, viewers were quick to comment on the “terrible” format – which they said left no time to go into “real detail” with guests.
One follower said: “Why does #latelate insist on interviewing three guests at once? Was terrible the first week and not good tonight.”
Another wrote: “I’m not sure the tactic of having multiple guests on the couch works as smoothly as it did with Graham Norton.”
“I think one guest per time would be better. #LateLate.”
A third added: “This Part 1 format needs work – it’s really tedious!!! And these three just don’t mix.”
And a fourth also commented: “Not sure if the rapid fire section works for three guests. I don’t have enough time to really go into detail.”
The first show, The 2 Johnnies, featured Mary McAleese, James McClean, Tommy TiernanHector O’hEochagain and Laurita Blewitt joined Kielty.
In the second show, James Nesbitt, Vogue Williams and Baz Ashmawy were among the guests.
Nina Carberry, Joe Wicks and Carl Frampton joined the new host on Friday.
Previously, our RTE insider defended grumblings over canteen bookings, claiming Patrick had been let down by an uninspired guest list.
And they stressed that the strikes by US actors and writers had affected The Late Late Show’s attempts to attract big-name guests.
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They said: “The strike means it’s really difficult to get high-profile guests because no one is making films or promoting films because of the strikes.”