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As the wind howls and the clouds threaten rain at any moment – this Friday looks like a cosy night-in.

Although the weather might be a bit shocking, it isn't all bad news.

The Late Late Show has some quality guests that are about to grace its couch, including a Harry Potter legend.

All the Potterheads will know Evanna Lynch as Luna Lovegood, and the actress will be having a chat with Ryan this Friday evening.

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

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The pair will be discussing how as a teenager, she was catapulted into worldwide fame when she was cast as the Hogwarts student.

And they'll also be having a natter about Evanna dancing her way into hearts of million as a finalist on the US version of Dancing With The Stars – that's our gal. 

Joining the HP legend is athletics champion Sonia O’Sullivan, along with her daughter Sophie.

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

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Snow Patrol's Gary Lightbody will be chatting to Ryan about life back on the road, as the band have released a new album after a seven year hiatus.

So now you have the perfect excuse to cancel on those Friday night plans.

Throw on the pjs, grab a hot water bottle and put the feet up with some quality entertainment after a long week.

 

Feature Image credit: Warner Bros/Everett Collection.

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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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Two more names have been confirmed for this year's Dancing With The Stars and we're very excited. Joining Mairéad Ronan, Darren Kennedy and Eilish O'Carroll will be former Miss Ireland Holly Carpenter and comedian Fred Cooke.

It was announced on RTÉ 2FM's Breakfast Republic this morning that the model and comedian have their eyes set on this year's Dancing with the Stars trophy. After much speculation the two stars revealed that they will strut their stuff on the dance floor for series three of the show.  

Speaking about taking part in Dancing with the Stars this year, Holly said;“I'm so excited to do the show. I've watched the last two series religiously with my Mom. When I met the pro-dancers I was almost star struck, so I'm truly delighted to be part of it. This is going to be physically and mentally challenging and I'm slightly terrified, but overall I'm really looking forward to it.”

 Fred commented: “I'm so happy to be taking part on Dancing with the Stars this year. When it comes to dancing, I'm full of passion but I don't have the technique. I'll do my best to try and get both right on this incredible show."

Jennifer Zamparelli and Nicky Byrne will join forces this year to present the new series of Dancing with the Stars. Airing on RTÉ One for 12 weeks from 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 dancefloor, each hoping to claim the much-coveted glitter ball trophy at the end of the series. Each pairing will have a different dancing genre to master every week from the paso doble to the waltz and they’ll have just seven days to perfect their routine before performing live to the nation. 

Also returning this year is our expert panel of judges Brian Redmond, Loraine Barry and Julian Benson. Once again the celebrities and their dancers will be scored by the judges and the viewing public at home.

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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 feels as if women in Ireland are in a constant game of tug of war.

We made progress by repealing the eighth but have been hurdled backwards from rulings like the Belfast rape trial.

But one thing we do have is a voice, and it is being heard now more than ever.

17-year-old Natalya O’Flaherty is speaking up for gender equality through spoken word. Her poetry highlights important issues that continue to plague young girls growing up in modern society.

Her recent piece Not Like Other Girls does just that – levels the childhood playing field and shows that girls cannot be defined ‘from a mindset moulded by man’.

She begins the poem, commissioned by RTÉ, by describing her own ‘tomboy’ experience (the very word itself demonstrates how badly the definition of girlhood needs to evolve).

I never liked pink or glitter or bows. Instead I chose blue and dirt and diggin’.

Never liked lipsticks or perfume, never hung horse-themed posters in my bedroom,

assumed I was not like the other girls, and the other girls were not like me.

I shied away from my femininity, maximised my masculinity

so that the boys wouldn’t pick me last in team chasing.

I’d sooner fall in the muck than be stuck sittin’ with the girls,

all swappin’ stories of the glories of kissing boys. It was all just noise to me.

Natalya was pushed out of both gender groups for having 'masculine' and 'feminine' characteristics.

I didn’t see why I was different but I knew I was.

I didn’t abide by the agreed upon girl code laws.

I didn’t want to be girly or soft or weak.

I didnt want to be considered delicate or meek ‘cause that’s what girls are

– or so I was told.

She was torn in two by a society that was forcing her to choose, compromising her identity to fit traditional gender roles.

Society had pitted me against myself.

I denied my own identity to embody what was said to be for the boys,

but now I know I’m not like other girls.

I can be soft and strong in the same breath.

I can like shoes and makeup and still have depth.

I can be brave while wiping tears on my sleeve.

I can be everything or nothing I’m expected to be.

She ended the poem with this epiphany, coming into her own and accepting who she is:

I can be like the other girls and they can be like me.

Natalya’s daring statements capture what it’s like growing up in Ireland and how much that truly needs to change.

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We must admit; even though American politics make us weep  –  we LIVE for the stories about Trump's personal life.

Half the time we are still scratching our heads as to HOW on earth he was elected and remains in office despite the sheer volume of scandals that have come out.

One particular scandal is going to be discussed on the Ray D'Arcy Show tomorrow – and tuning in is a MUST.

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

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Stormy Daniels is opening up to Ray about her alleged affair with Donald Trump.

In the interview, you can expect to hear details of the non-disclosure agreement that she signed in the run-up to the 2016 US Presidential Election.

Stormy who's real name is Stephanie Clifford, will also talk about her new tell-all book on the matter, titled Full Disclosure.

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

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The 39-year-old has claimed she got freaky in the sheets with a married Trump.

She also alleged that they carried on a relationship for a year, despite Donald being wed to third wife, Melania.

Stormy famously filed a defamation case against the US president.

The legal action was subsequently thrown out of court and she was left to foot Trump's legal bills – ouch, gal.

We look forward to the secrets she will spill. 

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The official date for this year’s Late Late Toy Show has been revealed and we may be more excited than the kids.

As cringe as it is, the Toy Show never fails to make us smile.

We never thought watching Ryan Tubridy prance around dressed as Woody from Toy Story would get us in the festive mood, but it did.

Watching the Toy Show has become one of the biggest Christmas traditions here in Ireland and we honestly wouldn’t have it any other way.

Presenter Ryan Tubridy announced the date for this year’s show on his RTÉ Radio 1 show and it’s just around the corner.

Fans don’t have too long to wait to see what Christmas jumper Tubs will be rocking this year because the 2018 Toy Show will air on November 30.

“I had to try on my particular outfit this week that will be featuring on the opening of the Toy Show on November the 30th and that means Christmas is in the heads of a lot of people already,” the Late Late Show host revealed.

The Toy Show never fails to disappoint us, even thought we feel extremely jealous of ALL the prizes the audience bring home.

We can’t help but wonder will a certain boyband make an appearance on this year’s show? Westlife did just confirm their reunion tour.

Get your matching PJs and tins of Celebrations at the ready. The Late Late Toy Show airs on November 30.

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Huge congratulations are in order as RTÉ’s Bláthnaid Treacy has announced she is engaged to long-term boyfriend Charlie Mooney.

The TV presenter shared the joyous news on Instagram.

She posted a stunning photo of her and fiancé Charlie. She beamed as she showed off her elegant ring.

 

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The lovebirds had been on a four-week holiday in Mexico when Charlie popped the question.

We have fallen head over heels in love with Bláthnaid’s vintage style engagement ring. She gave her followers a closer look at it on her Instagram.

“Mexico really was a trip we'll never forget…so great to be home and celebrate with friends and family Xx,” she wrote.

Friends and followers quickly showered the post with loving messages.

“Ahh congrats you guys!! Delighted for you! Your ring is fab,” one user wrote.

 

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Diana Bunici wrote: “Awww, congratulations guys!”

Radio DJ Becki Miller said: “Ahh Blathnaid!! Huge congratulations!! Just fabulous news! Enjoy every minute of it!”

“NO WAY!!! Delighted for you guyses!” said Maia Dunphy.

 

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Author Caroline Foran added: “You guys! So happy for you! I had such a feeling about this trip!”

“Awh!! So so delighted for you two lovebird,” said Aoibhin Garrihy.

We are overjoyed for Bláthnaid!

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The Nicky Byrne Show with Jenny Green on RTÉ 2FM have donated the prize money form their You're Some Laugh competition, which featured the laugh of the late Avicii, a Pieta House. 

The game, which has been going on for the last eight weeks, sees listeners guess which celebrity laugh is played on air each day until the money is won.

For every day the laugh is guessed incorrectly, the prize fund goes up, however, this particular run has been closed and the €840 has been donated to Pieta House, after it was confirmed Avicii took his own life earlier this month. 

The Swedish DJ and producer Avicii, whose real name was Tim Bergling, passed away in a resort in Oman on Friday, April 20, aged just 28.

“It is with profound sorrow that we announce the loss of Tim Bergling, also known as Avicii,” his representative said in a statement.

“He was found dead in Muscat, Oman this Friday afternoon local time, April 20th.  The family is devastated and we ask everyone to please respect their need for privacy in this difficult time. No further statements will be given.”

Earlier this week, the musician's family confirmed he had dies by suicide, saying he "could not go on any longer."

They wrote, “Our beloved Tim was a seeker, a fragile artistic soul searching for answers to existential questions. An over-achieving perfectionist who travelled and worked hard at a pace that led to extreme stress.”

“He really struggled with thoughts about Meaning, Life, Happiness. He could not go on any longer. He wanted to find peace.”

If you have been affected by any of the issues raised in this report you can contact Pieta House 24/7 Helpline 1800 247 247 or the Samaritans Helpline 116 123

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RTÉ has announced a new season of natural history programming, celebrating our stunning wild island, across Sundays in spring on RTÉ One.

Viewers will get their first taste of what to expect in a brand-new promo which will debut during the first ad break on the Late Late Show tonight (Friday 6 April). Fronted by passionate programme-makers, the season – airing in April and May – will celebrate wildlife in a number of ambitious new documentaries and series, and encourage the public to take part in a variety of ways through online and social media. 

The first series to air will be the much-anticipated Ireland’s Deep Atlantic, which sees underwater cameraman Ken O’Sullivan embark on a series of voyages out into the open North Atlantic in search of large whales, sharks and cold water coral reefs 3,000 down on Ireland’s deep sea bed.

The two-part series will document many of these creatures’ behaviour for the first time in any TV programme and investigate the health of our deep Atlantic waters. This is an area inhabited by the largest animals ever to have lived on Earth, by some of the most beautiful, strangest looking, resilient and fascinating life forms on the planet and ecosystems.

The documentary series has become a partner in ground-breaking scientific research, sharing resources and collaborating with research scientists, which, to date will result in five scientific research publications, an unprecedented number for a TV documentary. The series will air on Sunday 22 April on RTÉ One.

Ken O’Sullivan said: ‘I spent the summers of my youth on Fenit Island, Co. Kerry fishing with my father, swimming, gathering carrageen and periwinkles, anything just to be on the shore and in the water. I love exploring and learning about our natural world, discovering new areas and trying to understand how creatures behave, how eco-systems function. '

'There are hundreds of thousands of species of flora and fauna in our seas, 17 species of whales have been seen in Ireland and we encountered and documented six of these during production.’

On May 13, a new four-part series A Wild Irish Year offers perfect Sunday evening family viewing on RTÉ One, with each show featuring the glories of wild outdoor Ireland through one beautifully filmed season. From wildlife to weather, from farming cycles to nature’s ancient rhythms, the series features the changes sweeping across our green island throughout one year.

Produced for RTÉ by Crossing the Line (makers of the acclaimed Wild Ireland, The Farthest and The Secret Life of the Shannon), the presenting team of Tara Shine, Rob Gandola and Eoin Warner showcase some of our most spectacular natural events and meet a diverse range of people whose livelihood depends on the natural rhythm of the seasons.

Dr Tara Shine said: ‘Ireland’s nature is wild, unpredictable and constantly surprising. You just never know what is around the next corner and finding hidden wildlife is always a thrill.’

On Sunday May 6, Ireland hosts Nature LIVE, as it broadcasts live to Europe from the banks of Dublin’s River Liffey. It will be anchored by RTÉ presenter Derek Mooney, with wildlife film-maker Colin Stafford-Johnson presenting from the Blasket Islands.

This one-hour television programme hosted by RTÉ in partnership with other broadcasters will feature some of Europe's extraordinary wildlife – beamed in live by satellite from the continent's most remote locations – from polar bears in the Norwegian Arctic to flamingos in southern Spain, and from basking sharks off the west of Ireland, to wolves in Slovenia. This unique event is designed to create a showcase for Europe’s nature.

Viewers can take part by sharing their own pictures and videos of nature and wildlife using #naturelive from wherever they live in Europe. The day kicks off with the Dawn Chorus, which will air on RTÉ Radio 1 from 12am through to 7am. Millions of birds will join in nature’s symphony broadcast live from over 20 locations across Europe. 

Derek Mooney said: ‘Europe’s nature is spectacular.  It’s only right that we celebrate it and I’m delighted that RTÉ is hosting this unique event which will be viewed by millions of people throughout the world on TV and online.’

Colin Stafford-Johnson added: ‘This is a unique and wonderful opportunity to showcase the very best that Ireland has to offer in terms of its wild places and wild creatures.’

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