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The wait has ended, the final three contestants who will be taking part in RTÉ One's hit show Dancing With The Stars have been revealed.

Ryan Tubridy was joined on The Late Late Show couch by legendary rugby hero Peter Stringer, country music goddess Cliona Hagan and Demi Isaac Oviawe, star of The Young Offenders, who each confirmed their new roles on the dance show.

Each of them spoke of their nerves and anticipation in terms of joining the show, which begin in the new year.

Speaking about his participation in the hit television show Peter Stringer said: “I’ve never danced on a dance floor before so going from that to dancing in front of a live audience will be a whole new experience for me. I’m nervous but up for the challenge!”

Country music star Cliona Hagan said: “I’m very excited, nervous, and a little apprehensive, but overall I’m feeling great and can’t wait to see how far I can push myself.”

The Young Offender star Demi Isaac Oviawe spoke of her desire to empower black Irish women: 

“I’m so excited to be involved in this year’s show. I can’t wait to get started and learn a new skill. I’m hoping that I can be a role model for young black women in Ireland and maybe some might even follow in my dance steps!”

The full line up for series three of Dancing with the Stars is officially: Fred Cooke, Cliona Hagan, Demi Isaac Oviawe, Clelia Murphy, Mairead Ronan, Johnny Ward, Eilish O’Carroll, Denis Bastick, Darren Kennedy, Holly Carpenter and Peter Stringer

Jennifer Zamparelli and Nicky Byrne are the duo who will present the newest series of the show, which airs on RTÉ One for 12 weeks from Sunday 6 January.

The eleven celebrities will pair up with professional dance partners to step out of their comfort zones and compete to snatch the glitter ball trophy.

Brian Redmond, Loraine Barry and Julian Benson return again this year to judge the competition with the help of the viewing public.

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Former Love/Hate star Johnny Ward has been confirmed as the eighth contestant for RTÉ One's Dancing With The Stars.

Known for his bad boy roles, the actor is choosing to take on his most challenging performance yet- on the dancefloor.

The actor is known for playing the character of Pauley in Love/Hate, and played Gino in Coppers the Musical this year.

He made the announcement on RTÉ One's Today with Maura and Dáithí, saying that his sights are most definitely set on winning the coveted glitter ball trophy.

Speaking about taking part in the hit show, Johnny commented;

"For once I get to be a gentleman rather than a psychotic gangster, kidnapper or clamper! I’m really looking forward to joining the show and leaning a new skill. The nerves are there but I’m up for the challenge and loving every minute of the experience.”

Johnny will now join Clelia Murphy, Mairead Ronan, Eilish O’Carroll, Denis Bastick, Darren Kennedy, Fred Cooke and Holly Carpenter on series three of the show.

Jennifer Zamparelli and Nicky Byrne are joining forces this year to present the new series of Dancing with the Stars. Each week, 11 celebrities will pair up with professional dance partners and compete to stay in the competition.

The show will start on RTÉ One on Sunday January 6, and is running for 12 weeks. The expert panel of judges Brian Redmond, Loraine Barry and Julian Benson will be deciding the dancers' fates, as well as the viewing public.

Can’t Stop Dancing, the preview show for Dancing with the Stars hosted by Bláthnaid Treacy will be back on Friday, January 4 on RTÉ One. 

Get ready for the glitz and glamour of the fight for the glitter ball trophy, luckily the first two weeks have no eliminations.

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Former Dublin footballer, not to mention five-time All Ireland winner Denis Bastick has been revealed as the seventh contestant for this year's Dancing With The Stars.

The star sat down with The Nicky Byrne Show on 2FM live to comment on why he swapped his football boots for some dancing shoes to try his hand at winning series three's glitterball;

“I really feel that this will be a great experience for me. It is completely different than anything I have ever done before. Since retiring from Dublin football I always wanted to try new things, I never imagined that this would be one of those things though!"

Commenting further on his career so far, Bastick said;

"Football has given me a huge sense of accomplishment and DWTS is now presenting me with a massive challenge and the opportunity to accomplish something that is in such contrast to what I’m used to."

The contestant also expressed his nerves at the idea of competing at such a high level of dancing, but he's got a whole team of support from his Dublin GAA fanbase.

Speaking about the standard of dance which is expected of the show's participants, Bastick said;

"I am slightly overwhelmed at the task in hand having seen what the dancers can do. They have amazing, athleticism, rhythm and coordination. I have probably one of those qualities so I will really need to put the work in!”

Denis will join Clelia Murphy, Mairead Ronan, Eilish O’Carroll, Darren Kennedy, Fred Cooke and Holly Carpenter on series three of the hit show.

Jennifer Zamparelli and Nicky Byrne are this year's official presenters, and the series will air on RTÉ One for 12 weeks from Sunday 6 January.

Dancing With The Stars has a grand total of 11 celebrities, who pair up with their professional dancing partners as they cross their boundaries and try an entirely new talent.

Stepping onto the dancefloor to compete for the much-coveted glitter ball trophy, each pair will have a different dancing genre to master every week. The duos will have just seven days to perfect their routine before performing live on national television. 

The expert panel of judges Brian Redmond, Loraine Barry and Julian Benson are returning again this year. The celebrities and their dancers will be scored by the judges and the viewing audiences at home.

The treats don't end there for viewers; Can’t Stop Dancing, the preview show hosted by Bláthnaid Treacy, will be back on our screens on Friday, 4 January on RTÉ One

All of the glitz, glamour and gossip that happens behind the scenes will be delved into. Get the low down from the judges, the professional dancers and the stars before the main action begins. 

We absolutely CANNOT WAIT for Sunday 6 January, get yourselves ready.

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Viewers all over the country were glued to the screens on Friday night, with The Late Late Toy Show totally taking over everyone's television schedules, and for good reason.

A record amount of viewers from over 100 countries all over the world tuned into RTÉ Player to catch a glimpse of the infamous Irish show, with a total of 1.5 million watching it on RTÉ One over the weekend.

This makes it officially the most watched programme on Irish TV in 2018, and cements it's place as the nation's television event of the year. 1.3 million viewers watched this year, making it an increase of 200,000 people.

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

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The show excelled itself this year, especially with their chosen theme of The Greatest Showman, which was hugely popular with both viewers, participants and host Ryan Tubridy.

1.3 million people watched the show live, which was an incredible 74 percent share of the TV audience during this time period.  The hashtag #LateLateToyShow even trended worldwide on Twitter.

The show had a total reach on RTÉ One of over 1.8 million viewers who tuned in for a minute or more on Friday night, some viewers on the Player logged on from Myanmar, Haiti, Mongolia and Burundi.

Ryan Tubridy gushed about the evening, saying: "I am blown away every single year at the reaction we get to The Late Late Toy Show."

"As a team, we are so honoured that people open their arms and welcome us in for such a magical night, and I sincerely hope it was as much fun for our viewers as it was for me on Friday."

"The production team and the children are what make the Toy Show special and memorable and I want to thank everyone involved, from little star Michael to our heroes Grace and Scott, to the set and costume designers. I’m delighted viewers loved it as much as we did."

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

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They truly outdid themselves this year, the kids just get cuter and cuter every year.

We can't wait to see what they do for 2019.

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It's getting ready to hit our screens again in January – yes, we're talking about Dancing With The Stars, of course.

The hit dance show has unveiled it's first celebrity contestant and we can reveal that it is…Mairead Ronan.

The broadcaster and entrepreneur has been announced as the first star to don her dancing shoes in the New Year when the highly anticipated RTÉ One series returns. 

Mairead has said, ''I’m very excited but I have a big ball of nerves in my stomach! I’ve never done anything glamorous on TV, I’m always out in fields and mucky places with wellies and runners, so now to be in heels and sparkly dresses is both brilliant an brutal.''

She continued,  ''The only dancing I do is around the kitchen with my baby, so this is going to be a whole new experience for me!"

The next celebrity dancers to join Mairéad will be revealed on The Ryan Tubridy Show on Monday, December 3. 

She took to Instagram to announce the news, saying, ''De de de de de de deeee de de de de de delighted to be involved with the next series of @dwtsirl … the nerves are big already please be kind in January #dwtsirl.''

Jennifer Zamparelli  will be stepping into the shoes of former presenter Amanda Byram and will be joining forces with as the presenters. 

Kicking off on RTÉ One on Sunday January 6, a total of 11 celebrities will pair up with their professional dancing partners as they step out of their comfort zones and onto the dance floor, each hoping to claim the much-coveted glitter ball trophy at the end of the series.

We can't wait – good luck Mairead. 

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"The last thing I want is a girl crying leaving my house."- Paddy Jackson

The Belfast Rape Trial led to shockingly large media coverage, emotional social media comment and outraged street protest.

The nine-week trial ended in late March 2018, when the jury of nine men and three women unanimously served not guilty verdicts on all charges to all four men involved.

Ex-Ulster and Ireland rugby players Stuart Olding and Paddy Jackson were found not guilt of rape and sexual assault at a house party in June 2016, leading to an onslaught of widespread criticism of how trials such as these are conducted.

Defendants Blane McIlroy and Rory Harrison were also found not guilty on all charges, with Irish rugby captain Rory Best facing critique for attending the trial itself. The hashtag #notmycaptain trended on Irish Twitter.

Two leading barristers in the case feature in the documentary, Toby Hedworth QC for the Prosecution and Brendan Kelly QC for Paddy Jackson.

Image: Belfast Live

The trial ended on March 28, but has remained in the headlines all-year-round, specifically regarding the #MeToo movement, as well as the recent rape trial in Cork.

Both trials have generated upsetting levels of scandal due to the introduction of female underwear as evidence. The Belfast trial saw the young woman's bloodied thong passed around the courtroom with 100 members of the public.

Las week, #ThisIsNotConsent went viral after the news hit regarding a rape trial in court where her underwear was used as evidence of her apparent consent.

Ruth Coppinger TD produced a thong in the middle of a Dáil debate to make a point about the treatment of witnesses in rape trials.

The Gillen Review Panel in Northern Ireland was published this week, and recommended numerous changes around serious sexual assault trials. 

In the documentary, RTÉ One also spoke to members of the public who attended the Belfast rape trial. 

Fair warning, Documentary On One: Notes From A Belfast Rape Trial is a very difficult listen. Narrated by Emer Horgan and Ronan Kelly, the listener of the documentary is faced with some quite graphic testimony.

That jury decided that they could not say, beyond reasonable doubt, that rape had taken place in Paddy Jackson’s house on that June night in 2016. 

Anyone who feels affected by any issues contained within this documentary, please visit the RTÉ Support page for Helpline information

The first broadcast will be tomorrow, Saturday November 24  2018, on RTÉ Radio 1 at 2pm.

Feature image: JOE.co.uk

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Ryan Tubridy is delivering a massive treat this week for RTÉ viewers, both for rugby fanatics and the 1990s generation.

Fresh from his heroic performance on Saturday which saw Ireland defeat the All Blacks, man of the match Peter O'Mahony is dropping by RTÉ One studios to discuss the immense victory, and what the team has planned for 2019's World Cup.

It's fair to say the entire nation was screaming at the TV, or else hiding behind the couch from the sheer tension of the match, where Ireland beat New Zealand for only the second time ever by 16:9 points, and Peter O'Mahony played a massive role.

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

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Next up: it's Boyzone, every 1990s Irish gal's dream.

After selling over 25 million records, it's fair to say that Boyzone have enjoyed phenomenal success.

With several number 1 albums and numerous top-selling singles, the boys are set to embark on their farewell tour after 25 years, we are SO THERE.

Ronan Keating, Mikey Graham, Shane Lynch and Keith Duffy will be telling Ryan Tubridy why it’s time to say goodbye.

Professor Brian Cox is stopping by, continuing on his journey to make complex scientific ideas understandable to all. 

The charismatic scientist joins Ryan to explain his passion for unpicking the infinite universe around us, and tells us why he's going on tour to bring science on the road.

Whether you're a nerdy fan or a total science novice, he's a fascinating guest to watch speak.

Fr Tony Coote was diagnosed earlier this year with Motor Neurone Disease and chose to walk the length of Ireland to raise awareness and funds for sufferers.

He will be speaking to Ryan on the show alongside Professor Orla Hardiman, consultant neurologist at Beaumont Hospital. Fr Tony intends to discuss the success of “Walk While You Can” and how he is adapting to life with the disease.

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

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Some of the entrants for Carer of the Year will also be guests on tomorrow nights show, so it's the perfect chance to hear about the amazing work they do in incredibly intense circumstances. 

Mario Rosenstock will be providing the comedy element with his renowned impressions, and music will be from The Stunning who are joined by the RTÉ Concert Orchestra.

There is also a pair of tickets to next week’s Late Late Toy Show up for grabs in the viewer prize, perfect for the kids to come along to.

The Late Late Show airs on RTÉ One this Friday, November 23 at 9.35pm.

You won't want to miss this one.

Feature image: Laois Today

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Across Ireland, people have spent the long weekend enjoying that glorious sunshine.

Everywhere from the local park to the canal has been jam-packed with friends and families embracing the summer.

However, after a weekend of barbecues, day-trips and sunbathing, sometimes all you want to do is curl up on the sofa and watch a family film (once the sun goes in that is.

The sun is due to set at 9 pm, and one of the greatest Irish movies is on at 9.30pm, the timing couldn’t be more perfect!

You have to tune into the marvellous Sing Street is on RTÉ One tonight at 9:30 pm

The award-winning movie is set in Dublin during the 1980s.

The film follows the life of teenager Conor as he struggles to adapt to his new life in public school, as well as dealing with his parents troubled relationship, money problems and school bullies.

As a way to cope with the dull realities of teenage life, Conor decides to start a band with his school pals. 

The movie features music from the biggest bands of the 80s, including  Duran Duran, The Cure, Spandau Ballet and The Jam.

This uplifting Irish movie will leave your heart feeling full and your head full of the sounds of the 80s.

It’s the perfect bank holiday movie.

Tune into Sing Street at 9:30 pm tonight on RTÉ One – it's something to do while you're slathering on the after sun. 

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In Ireland everyday, we consume '14 million assorted meals, 9 million snacks, 1.3 million packets of crisps, 1.6 million apples, and 15 million cups of tea every single day.' 

RTÉ's latest documentary is here to reveal exactly where this food comes from, how it is produced, and how the process goes. 

One Day – How Ireland Eats is an hour long documentary coming to RTÉ One on Monday.

The documentary will portray the work of the real people who provide the Irish consumers with everything from potatoes and bread to meat. 

The growers, suppliers, buyers, caterers and chefs who create the Irish food chain will all be in attendance in the informative and probably hunger-inducing doc. 

As well as looking at the Irish diet now, the documentary will also reveal how the diet has changed over the past half a century. 

If you're interested in learning everything there is to know about how we eat, you may want to tune in to RTE ONe on Monday at 9.35pm.

Make sure you have the snacks ready (seeing as we spend €20 million on them everyday).

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In a heartbreaking new RTÉ One documentary which airs tonight at 9.35pm, the son of Sophie Toscan du Plantier reveals how her death impacted him and his family.

On December 23 1996, the body of Sophie Toscan du Plantier was found in a laneway outside her holiday home near Schull, West Cork.

Sophie's son, Pierre-Louis Toscan du Plantier, was just 14-years-old at the time and reveals how that day was his “last day of being a child,” adding, “She was everything for me.”

Sophie's murder was a tragic event that sent shock waves through the local community, and over 20 years later, her family are still searching for answers.

The Du Plantier Case documents the story of one of the most infamous murders in recent Irish history, looking at the case from both sides.

On one, a grieving family fighting for justice, and on the other, a man campaigning for his innocence.

In tonight's programme, viewers will hear unprecedented testimony form Sophie's mother, Marguerite Bouniol, and her brother Bertrand.

Although Ian Bailey was never convicted, he was publicly identified as a suspect in 1997 and has protested his innocence for the past 20 years.

Since then, he has brought his case to the High Court alleging a Garda conspiracy to frame him for murder.

Ian Bailey has now been indicted for murder by the French courts who want him to stand trial in Paris, however, this morning, the High Court refused to order his extradition to France, though it is still possible that he will be tried ‘in absentia’ in Paris.

As part of tonight's documentary, Ian Bailey was interviewed by reporter, Philip Boucher, along with his partner, Jules Thomas.

“It is in my mind and intention to write a letter to the DPP and I’m going to suggest that the DPP or the authorities in Ireland invite the French prosecutors to travel here to Ireland and to overview, under Irish law, my trial here. I would welcome it.”

The Du Plantier Case airs on RTÉ One tonight at 9.35pm.

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Room To Improve always offers up a tonne of Twitter fodder, from building plans going massively over-budget to couples speaking to each other through gritted teeth about French windows as the cameras roll merrily on.

But last night's episode was a little different. For once, there was nothing to make fun of.

The build went smoothly, the finished house was gorgeous, and the homeowners were a total delight. So much so, in fact, that Mel and Aoife gave Twitter total relationship envy.

They were just so HAPPY with the whole process…

 

That enthusiasm!

 

They didn't seem bothered by things going over-budget, or that their three-bed semi detached house in Baldoyle cost them a whopping €770,000 in total.

 

Or the fact that they had to move in with Aoife's parents for FAR longer than planned. Though why would they? Aoife's mam and dad were downright amazing too.

 

All in all, Mel and Aoife definitely take home the title of Most Agreeable Couple Ever.

 

But when it comes to feeling the love Cormac the builder wasn't left out in the cold either:

 

Sadly though, he's taken:

We're already excited for next week's episode.

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Gone are the days when we'd wait with bated breath for the Christmas RTÉ Guide to find out what we'd be settling down to on TV that year.

Now, the listings are announced online too, and if you don't find the film you're looking for, well, there's always box sets, Netflix and more box sets.

Luckily though, our favourite Irish TV channels have come up trumps this year, and we reckon we'll be glued to the telly on those chilly Christmas nights.

Here's what you can look forward to…

Brand New Movies

Gravity, RTÉ One, Christmas Eve

 

Oz The Great & Powerful, RTÉ One, Christmas Day

 

Anchorman 2, RTÉ2

 

Lincoln, RTÉ One, St Stephen's Day

 

Les Miserables, RTÉ One, St Stephen's Day

 

One Direction: This Is Us, RTÉ2

 

The Classics

Home Alone 2, RTÉ One

 

Up, RTÉ One

 

The Commitments, TV3

 

The Quiet Man, RTÉ One

 

It's A Wonderful Life, RTÉ One

 

ET, RTE2

 

And a special mention…

Queen Of Ireland Christmas Message, Christmas Day, TV3

Ireland's honourary Queen of Ireland will take to our screens on Christmas Day afternoon to share her vision of 2016 with us. Even though it's long before the watershed we reckon there'll be a few risqué jokes in there. It is Panti Bliss after all.

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