Experienced Producer Leaves Late Late As Viewers Tune Out

Patrick Kielty

The newly reconfigured Patrick Kielty helmed Late Late Show has suffered a new blow with the news that it’s executive producer has departed just four weeks into its new run.

Jane Murphy, who has worked in RTÉ for over twenty years on the likes of Claire Byrne Live and The Late Late Show under Ryan Tubridy, had worked on the series for five months.

Ms Murphy was also the producer on the ill-fated Toy Show The Musical – a production that lost €2.2 million.

RTÉ’s group head of entertainment Alan Tyler confirmed her departure while thanking her for her contributions.

He told the Irish Examiner:

As a highly experienced Executive Producer, Jane Murphy worked on The Late Late Show for the past five months in pre-planning and production including taking Patrick and the show to air for the first four weeks,” he said.

Now that the brand-new series has been established, she will be taking up a different role within television.

I want to thank Jane for her steady stewardship and hard graft over the last five months to get the new show up and running and off to a great start.

Myself, Patrick and the team are very grateful and have our heads down now in the flow of the new season.”

Several newspaper titles on Thursday morning reported that tensions that may have existed between Ms Murphy and the new host which may have precipitated the producer’s departure.

It follows fresh blows for the stricken state broadcaster amid a further decline in viewership since Patrick Kielty’s first show as host aired.

Last Friday’s programme saw a 45% TV audience share with 486,000 people tuning in.

However since the County Down man’s first show had a peak viewership of 940,000, week two saw viewership decline by more than 33% to 548,000.

The show has been heavily criticised for a lack of so-called star guests, despite those behind the scenes now working in tandem with UK-based celebrity booking consultants.

A new director Stephen Stewart from Green Inc was also brought in to work on the show, which is unprecedented in RTÉ as an outside hire, replacing the veteran Late Late director Alan Byrne who is held, according to reports in very high esteem.