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Veteran Irish comedian Brendan Grace has passed away aged 68, his representative has confirmed.

The legendary comedian announced earlier in July that he was cancelling a number of tour dates in July and August in order to receive medical help.

Grace was initially hospitalised with pneumonia but later a diagnosis of lung cancer was made.

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

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The comic had began his career in the 1960s as a musician, and went on to bring in huge audiences for his stand-up gigs across the nation. He also achieved widespread TV success.

Routines such as 'Father of the Bride', 'Bottler' and 'Chinese Takeaway' built a loyal fan-base for his shows and one-off specials which garnered high ratings.

Consistently high ratings resulted in TV3 commissioning an animated special based on his iconic schoolboy character 'Bottler'. 

Grace brought in a whole new generation of fans in the 1990s after appearing in the Father Ted series as priest Fr Fintan Stack.

His number one hit Combine Harvester was later covered by The Wurzels in the UK, and he also toured with Frank Sinatra and John Denver.

He usually closed his stand-up shows with a humorous song, keeping music close to his heart at all times. While he lived in Florida for many years, he'd often return to Ireland to perform.

Tom Kelly, Grace's booking agent of nearly 30 years, spoke to RTÉ’s Morning Ireland and referred to the comedian as "one of the greatest entertainers of this era";

“You could see at every show how people just warmed to him.On nights when the audience might not have been very warm – that very seldom happened – he could turn around, pick up his guitar and sing a song with great authority," Kelly said.

“All in all, we can look back with pride at Brendan’s lifetime. Great family man, very close to his family. Just adored by his fans all over the country and indeed abroad as well. His popularity spread right around the world.”

Feature image: Instagram/@louloubooboo21

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Louise McSharry has revealed that she will return to RTE 2FM with a brand new show this September, and we're over the moon for the radio star.

While she was keeping very tight-lipped about her new gig, the popular DJ hinted that she will be moving away from the evening slot lifestyle.

The 2FM host, who is off on maternity leave, told the Irish Daily Mirror: “I am going back in September to do a new show.

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

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“I can’t really say too much more about it yet but I am really excited about it. It won’t be in the evening.”

It was recently announced that her friend Tara Stewart would be permanently taking over her regular weekday music show from 7pm until 10pm, as part of the new summer schedule for the radios station.

Louise conceded that she initially felt extremely protective over the slot, Louise is convinced that Tara is the best gal for the job.

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

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“A million percent, Tara is exactly the right person, she has her finger on the pulse when it comes to music and everything else," she explained.

“And you need someone, if you are doing a new music show, that it is not an effort for them, where they are naturally clued in and she is 100 percent that person.”

The mum-of-two is adjusting to family life with one-month-old Ted and two-year-old Sam, and hasn't even had time to listen to the new schedule;

“Not really, I’ve heard a teeny tiny bit of it and I just haven’t been listening to the radio at all at the minute."

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

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She expressed her excitement for Tara's radio career taking off;

“But I am so excited and Tara is starting her show and I am super excited about that, myself and Tara are great friends and obviously I feel protective over that slot because I was in it for five years but I couldn’t be happier for someone to take it over.”

Louise's husband Gordon Spierin has been helping out at home since Ted was born.

"My husband got the two weeks paternity leave and then he is taking two weeks annual leave as well so to be honest it has been amazing to have him and it has made the whole thing so much easier."

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

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She pressed the need for equality in the home after the birth of a child;

“I know the statutory paternity leave is increasing to four weeks soon and I am just like the sooner that happens the better and the more that happens the better because it just means we have much more equal roles in everything in the house, and with the kids and everything.

“And it is a great comfort to me and puts much less pressure on me to kind of get everything together quickly."

We can't wait to hear her brand new show this September, you go girl.

Feature image; Instagram/@wolfhoundeyewear

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The tackiest night in Irish television is upon us once more. 

Every year, we send an act to some European capital to sing and dance onstage alongside the rest of the EU in the hopes of taking home the trophy and hosting the same thing the following year in our capital. 

We've won the thing a record-breaking seven times (and three years back-to-back which is INSANE) and although the last few years have seen our luck dissipate, we still enjoy a good Eurovision party every May.

This year, however, isn't like any other.

The 64th edition of the competition is set to take place this Saturday in Tel Aviv, Israel.  

Image result for eurovision

So what exactly is the boycott and why is it happening?  

It centers on Israel's alleged human rights abuses towards the Palestinian people, with Gaza-based Palestinian Artists Association has since accused Israel of using the event to “perpetuate oppression, promote injustice or whitewash a brutal apartheid regime”.

There has been a petition signed by many famous faces who say that by letting Israel host the Eurovision, we are supporting the violation of Palestinian human rights.

Among those who have signed it are band Wolf Alice, Peter Gabriel, Roger Waters while a counter-letter has been penned by Stephen Fry, Sharon Osbourne, Marina Abramovic, and Scooter Braun.

The letter states that ''Spirit of togetherness is under attack by those calling to boycott Eurovision 2019 because it is being held in Israel, subverting the spirit of the contest and turning it from a tool of unity into a weapon of division.''

The crux of the whole thing boils down to the fact that those who are for the competition to go ahead are saying that they are so because the contest is not supposed to be political in any way and they are not performing for politicians.

Instead, they are for putting on a show for the people, the audience, for entertainment and unity.

It will be broadcast by both RTE and BBC and both stations have issued statements to this effect. 

RTE said, ''As a long-running non-political, entertainment event, the Eurovision Song Contest (ESC) is designed to bring audiences and countries together. RTÉ is confident that the European Broadcasting Union and the host broadcaster will take all necessary steps to safeguard the non-political character of the event throughout the organization of the competition.''

BBC meanwhile echoed a similar sentiment.

They said, ''The competition has always supported the values of friendship, inclusion, tolerance, and diversity and we do not believe it would be appropriate to use the BBC’s participation for political reasons. Because of this, we will be taking part in this year’s event. The host country is determined by the rules of the competition, not the BBC.”

The irony here is why their point might be seen as acceptable where the host country is involved in minor conflict or political unease when it comes to the case in Israel, it's not the same.

Rory Cowen of Mrs. Browns' Boys' has been vocal on social media and tv in his support for the contest taking place in Tel Aviv and he tweeted, ''We were there in Russia, in Turkey, in Azerbaijan, in the UK, etc. We went to perform in many countries that were involved in conflicts. It would be discriminatory to single out just one not to go to'' to which he received a reply saying, ''Israel is not involved in a conflict. The Israeli regime is involved in the systematic extermination of the Palestinian people. Quite a different thing altogether.''

Ireland's entrant Sarah McTernan is getting ready to take to the stage for tomorrow nights second semi-final.

The Clare native, who will sing 22, had to hit back at the massive backlash she has gotten for going to Tel Aviv.

She said, ''Everybody has their opinion on the issue, which is totally fine, but we’re about the music, and about spreading the love and the music, and that’s what Eurovision is about. We’re here, and we’re loving it.''

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

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There is a really strong for-against that appears to be happening in the media.

Madonna, who is set to perform at the live final this Saturday, is determined to perform despite the loud callings for a boycott.

The numbers are low for fans travelling from Ireland to Tel Aviv – Diarmuid Furlong, president of Ireland’s Eurovision Fan Club confirmed that there would only be 30.

And overall, there will only be 5,000 or so foreign fans in Tel Aviv, much less than hoped for by organisers…these figures speak for themselves.

What will you be doing this Saturday – tuning in or blocking it out?

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Are you consistently getting ghosted on dating apps? Tired of always being left 'on read'? Completely jaded with swiping all day with nothing to show for it, and heading on disastrous dates every weekend?

Well, RTÉ Two are here to save the dating day, with their brand new show which targets young singles looking for love; Pulling With My Parents.

The show intends to follow people from all over Ireland who are stuck in a merry-go-round of bad dates and dating apps, and who are willing to go to drastic lengths to crack Cupid.

How drastic, you ask? Parental interference…that's how drastic. 

single bad date GIF by GIPHY Dating

Basically, you'd hand over the romance reins to Mum and Dad and see what happens. Sounds dangerous to us, but infinitely entertaining to watch. Sorry, not sorry.

Parents will roll up their sleeves and give their kids' dating profiles an old-fashioned overhaul, replacing those spicy selfies with something more regal in order to find them a suitable lover.

We're sure these parents will be needing a major crash course in emoji culture, and slang for social media. However, Mum and Dad will be trying some more traditional solutions to get their kids a son or daughter-in-law.

Be it a personal ad in the Farmer's Journal, good old arranged marriage or plucking a date from the local GAA club, these parents will go the extra mile to find their kids love.

tv land tinder GIF by YoungerTV

The series will no doubt be exploring the deepest corners of the generation gap, but we're expecting to be cringing the entire time watching it.

Think First Dates paired with Sun, Sea and Suspicious Parents, and that's the show you're looking at. We have to say, it sounds absolutely gas.

Does your Mum really know what's best for you? Does your Dad know how to find the man for the job? Why not apply for a chance to be on the show and track the love of your life.

Apply for the RTÉ dating app show by emaiing dating@Alleycats.tv, and change your love life today.

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Storm Hannah is on her way to visit us, lads, and we've got to be extra cautious tonight. A red weather warning has officially been issued by Met Éireann in Clare from 8pm tonight until 11pm.

An orange warning has been issued for wind in Galway from 7pm until midnight tonight. 

Winds are especially strong along the coast, and the public has been warned to avoid coastal areas completely.

Wind warnings for Clare, Cork, Kerry and Limerick are in place from 4pm today until 1am tomorrow, and warnings for wind in Waterford and Tipperary are issued from 10pm tonight until 2pm tomorrow.

A yellow wind alert has been sent out from 11pm for counties in the south east, north-west and the west of Ireland.

Gardaí are appealing to the public to be aware of the dangers posed by high winds those who are living near coastal, cliff and waterway areas are advised to be extra cautious.

Met Éireann have said that northwesterly winds will reach speeds of over 80 km/h with 'violent gusts' of 130 to 150 km/h for a period this evening. Jaysis.

Road users are cautioned to plan your journeys in advance, and be careful of stopping distances on wet roads.

It's going to be a breezy weekend, lads. Prepare to get your Rihanna out and werk some umbrellas.

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What's Friday night without the Late Late?

The line-ups have been great this year and with Tubs at the helm, we've really been enjoying it.

So who will be getting grilled tonight?

Line of Duty star Adrian Dunbar will natter to Ryan about his role as Superintendent Ted Hastings in one of the most applauded TV shows of the last decade, his illustrious career and reflect on what it was like growing up in Northern Ireland.

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

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Then we have former Kerry footballer Pat Spillane who, in 2017 when an action plan to positively develop rural Ireland was launched, was appointed to work with local communities and relay concerns back to the government.

Two years on, Pat joins Ryan to talk about if enough is being done to save rural Ireland.

For a bit of glam, we have Editor-in-chief of US Glamour magazine Samantha Barry and TV presenter Laura Whitmore on their work in the media industry.

The pair will join Ryan to talk about everything from their beginnings in Ballincollig and Bray to why it’s so important to them that women support each other.

After that, Portarlington native Fr Sean Hyland will open up about how he had a successful career as an electrical engineer, but after the deaths of his two children Seana and Ciaran, and then the death of his wife Liz, he decided to become a priest in his 60s.

Similarly, Niall McDonagh’s journey to find faith came about following a string of family tragedies, when the death of his brother, father and cousin left him bereft.

Both men join Ryan to chat about grief and why they turned to religion to cope.

Another guest is Dessie Fitzgerald who was a talented hurler living an ordinary, happy life when a spate of life changing events in one year led him to hit rock bottom.

Then we have World Naked Bike Ride is an annual, worldwide event that highlights the vulnerability of cyclists on the roads, with full or partial nudity encouraged and participants urged to “bare as you dare".

To celebrate the event in Cork on the June 8, we’ll have 16 cyclists in their birthday suits riding through The Late Late Show studio.

Music will be from Gavin James and Cork band True Tides.

Tune in to The Late Late Show, RTÉ One, Friday, April 19 at 9.35pm

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It's Friday night and while to some of you; they  might mean getting glammed up and heading out, for us it's an excuse to put out feet up and watch Tubs on The Late Late.

Is it weird to look forward to it, like are we showing our age?

Sure f*ck it, with guests like this, how could you blame us?

First up is popstar turned country crooner Una Healy who will be in studio to chat about forging her solo career and finding her country roots since saying goodbye to The Saturdays.

She’ll also be performing her new single Strangers and telling viewers about how the break-up of her marriage to rugby player Ben Foden inspired the track.

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

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Then we have one of the first homegrown film-makers to conquer Hollywood, winning an Oscar for The Crying Game,.

Writer and director Neil Jordan will discuss his new film Greta and look back on his extraordinary career, three decades in Tinseltown, and what the legacy of Michael Collins tells us about Brexit.

We’ll celebrate Tiger Roll’s famous win at the Grand National, doing the double for the first time since Red Rum, with the women who groomed him for greatness. 

Louise Magee and Karen Morgan will bring the legendary racehorse to meet Ryan.

Also making an appearance is the man who helped make Conor McGregor a star, coach John Kavanagh.

He will be on to talk about his battle to get the controversial sport of MMA recognised in Ireland and how it has helped change lives and also give his take on what's next for the notorious UFC fighter and his own coaching career.

In summer 1985, a strange phenomenon swept Ireland – reports of moving statues abounded and Ryan will be joined by two of the people who were there to witness this uniquely Irish story as it unfolded, Ballinspittle’s Patricia Bowen and Monasterevin’s John Miller.

Former Ireland international soccer player turned pundit and psychotherapist Richie Sadlier will tell us why we are failing a generation of young people by not talking openly and honestly about sex.

He’ll be telling viewers why he is on a mission to educate teenagers about sex, porn and consent. 

There's all that plus music from Dervish.

So make sure to tune in to RTÉ One, Friday, April 12 at 9.35pm.

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It's Friday night and you know what that means.

Yes, the Late Late Show will be on our screens tonight and it's got a stellar lineup.

First off, we have the hilarious duo of Marty Morrissey and Bernard O’Shea whose bromance started on Dancing With The Stars and is now back on our TV's where they belng.

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

A post shared by Bernard O'Shea (@bernardo.oshea) on

They have a brilliant show called Marty and Bernard’s Big Adventure and they join host Ryan Tubridy to discuss modern manhood, and how they fared when tasked with surviving a night out in the wilds.

Then we have fashion and beauty blogger turned businesswoman Suzanne Jackson.

The creator of one of Ireland’s best-known lifestyle sites, SoSueMe.ie, she is also the founder and CEO of a bestselling beauty brand.

Suzanne will be chatting about her rise to success and the influence that social media holds in society today.

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

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If that wasn't enough, Senator Michael McDowell joins Ryan to discuss the current political climate in Ireland and chats about his new documentary which examines the history of the Catholic Church and state relations, and how Rome came to shape the Irish political landscape.

Dublin footballer Philly McMahon and Governor of Mountjoy Prison Eddie Mullins join Ryan to discuss what can be done to rehabilitate offenders through the ‘Unfuccced’ programme, and the supports that are needed by ex-offenders to reintegrate into society.

The phenomenon of burnout will be discussed with a panel and how best to prevent and treat it.

Also, there's going to be tunes from Soulé.

The Late Late Show is on RTÉ One, Friday, April 5 at 9.35pm. 

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The Late Late Show is celebrating love in all its forms tonight with a show dedicated to romance and butterflies in your stomach.

'So who are the guests for their infamous Valentine's Day episode?', I hear you ask. Well, Tubs has a treat for everyone in the love-struck audience.

Reality TV star couple Vogue Williams and Spencer Matthews fell in love while filming a TV show in 2017, and now they're married with little baby Theodore. They join Ryan Tubridy in the studio tonight, getting candid about their relationship.

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

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What else could startle the romantic senses on the guest seat? Well, someone who has adapted some of Shakespeare's greatest love stories to film and TV is stopping by for a chat.

Actor and director Kenneth Branagh will join The Late Late Show panel of guests to discuss his new movie All Is True, and will elaborate on why Ireland holds a special place in his heart, having moved to England at a young age.

The show has also carried out a search for 'The Greatest Love of All' nationwide, and the public will exclusively be hearing some of the most romantic tales of true love, and viewers who have found their soul mate against all the odds. SWISH SWOO.

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

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Audience games will be taking place (sure to be absolutely GAS), and the 200 singles will be hoping to find that special someone on the RTÉ show.

Music from Whigfield and Mickey Joe Harte join Ryan for some music.. Is is because Mickey Joe's name sounds like Heart? Who knows…tune in to see.

Comedy dance duo Lords of Strut also pop by the Valentine's show to add to the hilarity, rounding up the guests nicely.

There have been some classic humour moments from the show, remember when one guest Colm had his mum asking him questions about his love life? We DIED.

The Late Late Show's annual love programme has long been one of the favourites with the viewers, and for good reason.

We can't wait to see what's in store tonight, the love episode is ALWAYS the best. Apart from the Toy Show, of course. 

Feature image; presspack.rte.ie

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The Late Late Show are seeking out singles and couples for their renowned Valentine's Special, which returns to screens on Friday, February 8.

Do you have the greatest love of all? Ryan Tubridy is on the hunt for Ireland's most spine-tingly romantic love stories, and has asked the public for their help:

“We’re searching up and down the country for the most romantic tales of true love –  and we want to hear from you," he said. Ooh La La… PLEASE Share your stories, tug on our heartstrings and help us find our other half.

to me you are perfect love actually GIF

We're talkin' single tear kind of tales, the ones that make you grab the tissues and text your mates saying, "Love really does exist after all, despite the fact I keep getting ghosted."

Maybe you’ve travelled the world but ended up falling head over heels with your next door neighbour, or maybe you’re celebrating a special wedding anniversary and would like to tell us where it all began – whatever your story is, we want to hear from you!”

You can also still be in the run to be an audience member on the night, they need eligible lads and lasses who aren't camera shy and are looking for their soulmate. Remember the incredible proposal from last year?

You can check out the process on their website here.

To apply, all you have to do is e-mail latelatespecials@rte.ie or post a letter to: Greatest Love of All, Late Late Show, PO Box 170, RTÉ, Dublin 4.

The Valentine's Special will air at 9:35pm on RTÉ One on Friday, February 8. We can't wait, it's always gas craic altogether.

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It's going to be a bitterly cold week, by the looks of things. Met Éireann have just issued a status yellow weather warning for Ireland, with snow and ice predicted.

They updated their website this morning, writing: "Very cold this week with showers of hail, sleet and snow, frequent across the southwest, west and north, where some significant accumulations are possible this evening and overnight."

"There will be widespread frost with icy stretches on untreated surfaces." they added, stating the potential for further significant snowfall on Thursday around the country.

The warning will be updated tomorrow morning, and will be in place until Saturday at 6pm.

Today, we're expecting a cold day with a mixture of sunny spells and scattered wintry showers, as rain and sleet clears eastwards.

There is also a risk of hail and thunder in Atlantic coastal areas, with the western half of the county expecting showers and snowfall.

Maximum temperatures will range from two to five degrees, let's hope we don't get snow like last year. 

Thursday will see sleet and snow continuing across the south of Ireland, but the northern half of the country should remain dry. Severe frost is incoming on Thursday night, with temperatures of just one to four degrees.

Yikes…wrap up warm out there. Hopefully it doesn't drop too far below zero degrees.

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Saoirse Ronan is one of Ireland's BIGGEST ever stars, so we cherish any moment when the Carlow actress lands on Irish soil.

Fresh from her presenting gig at the Golden Globes in Los Angeles, Ronan returns to Dublin to lead the all-star line-up of tomorrow night's The Late Late Show on RTÉ.

The 24-year-old already has three Oscar nominations under belt, and now there's talk of Mary, Queen of Scots finally earning her the coveted golden statue.

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

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Saoirse joins Ryan Tubridy to have a chat about working with Margot Robbie on the new movie, and her journey from The Clinic and Proof all the way to working with Margot Robbie in Hollywood.

We can't wait to hear the goss about life on set, the Oscars buzz and what stars she wants to work with in the future.

She's making the Irish look DAMN GOOD, and we're proud of the gal. She's had an illustrious career already at a young age, but she's just getting started.

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

A post shared by Saoirse Ronan (@saoirse_ronans) on

Ronan will be joined on The Late Late Show by hilarious actor John C. Reilly and comic Steve Coogan, who stop by for a chat about their new Laurel and Hardy biopic, Stan and Ollie.

Padraig Harrington also joins the panel of celebrity guests on the couch, and will no doubt converse with Ryan about the 2020 Ryder Cup.

Last but not least, four of Ireland's most successful young people will visit Tubridy; boxer Michael Conlon, Irish actor and BAFTA Rising Star nominee Barry Keoghan (Dunkirk, The Killing of a Sacred Deer), journalist Ellen Coyne and influencer Rosie Connolly.

Music from indie-rockers The Academic and spoken word poems from Natalya O'Flaherty round up the evening, catch it tomorrow night at 9:35pm on RTÉ One.

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