Stepping into Nicky Byrne’s shoes in the new series of Dancing With The Stars could be one of the most coveted positions on Irish television.
It is surprising that RTÉ is passing the net so far when it comes to finding suitable candidates to replace him.
Several celebrities have been invited to audition opposite Jennifer Zamparelli as producers try to find the perfect performing duo for Sunday night’s flagship show.
Among those reviewed recently were singers Lyra and Erica Coady, influencer James Patrice, celebrity chef Donal Skehan and GAA commentator Anna Geary.
Former show winner Lottie Ryan has also been linked to the role, as she fronts the show’s official podcast, which features Cork-born star Lyra. The popular singer previously performed on the show and was among those on the mix for the role.
An insider says that the producers are determined to find the right presenter for the famous gig but the problem is that Ireland has a finite pool of talent to choose from.
“They need someone who is already famous, like Nicky Byrne, but who clearly has the right on-screen chemistry with Jennifer. It had to be someone with experience, used to the pressure of a live show with such a large audience.
“There weren’t many people who fit the bill so they tested and screened countless different people for the role to make sure they got it right,” she said.
Former show winner Lottie Ryan has also been linked to the role, as she fronts the show’s official podcast, which features Cork-born star Lyra.
Last month, Byrne confirmed that he was quitting the show because he was touring internationally with Westlife, who has co-hosted the entertainment show since 2017.
Video of the day
“I’m absolutely delighted to be a part of this show, full of glitz and glamor and, of course, part of everyone’s Sunday night winter TV viewing,” he said. “It has been a brilliant season year since we debuted in 2017, working with the best staff in the world.
“I’ve laughed and laughed my way through 59 shows so far and it’s been a journey. I take away the best memories.”
When asked about plans for a new series, to air in January 2023, a spokesperson for RTÉ said that “no decision has been made” on Byrne’s replacement. “We look forward to Dancing with the stars return to RTÉ One in 2023,” the spokesperson said.
As one of the most popular programmes, the show produced by ShinAwil attracts an average of over 500,000 viewers and is an important platform for many Irish stars.
https://www.independent.ie/entertainment/from-erica-cody-to-donal-skehan-how-rte-is-casting-net-far-and-wide-to-replace-nicky-byrne-on-dancing-with-the-stars-42017582.html From Erica Cody to Donald Skehan – RTÉ is casting the net further and further away to replace Nicky Byrne on Dancing With The Stars