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Success for Ireland's First 'Dancing with the Stars' Series
28 Mar 2017 : Laura Brennan
Eleven celebrities put their best foot forward in this year’s series
After the glitz and glam of the ‘Dancing with the Stars’ grand finale saw Kerry GAA player and Garda Aidan O'Mahony take home the grand Glitterball trophy. IFTN look back at the success of the first Irish version of the BBC celebrity ballroom dancing format produced by ShinAwil for RTÉ.

With approximately 590,000 people tuning in every week, ‘Dancing with the Stars’ was favoured with a strong audience viewership across its twelve-week run.  

Kicking off the 2017 Irish new year with a quick step of dance floor entertainment. Over 1.2 million viewers tuned in over the course of the first 2-hour show, which aired Sunday 8th January on RTÉ One, with an average audience of 640,000 viewers and an audience share of 43 per cent.

Presented by Amanda Byram and Nicky Byrne. The eleven celebrities who put their best foot forward in this year’s series included; Des Bishop, Des Cahill, Dayl Cronin, Katherine Lynch, Dr Eva Orsmond, Teresa Mannion, Thalia Heffernan, Hughie Maughan, Denise McCormack, Aoibhin Garrihy and of course the now crowned king of dance Aidan O'Mahony.

Altogether a large team of between 120-150 people would have been involved in the overall production and filming of the 2-hour live broadcast each weekend from the Ardmore Film Factory in Ardmore studios located in Bray, Co. Wicklow.

There was a huge construction team involved in putting together the impressive ‘Dancing with the Stars’ studio floor, which included a 270 degree video wall surrounding the whole set as well as a built in audience platform. The set alone was a massive undertaking between the rigging, lighting and construction with Executive Producer Larry Bass remarking the dance floor was bigger than the BBC one.

Over the course of the 12-week show eliminations were a mix of judges’ decisions and public vote.  The public vote began in week three and makes up an important part of the programme’s commercial basis. Viewers could text vote for 60c or phone in for 61c.

Alike the BBC ‘Strictly Come Dancing’ format, the overall winner of ‘Dancing with the Stars’ was fully decided on by the public vote.

The grand finale saw the three celebrity finalists Fair City’s Aoibhin Garrihy, Red Rock’s Denise Mc Cormack and Kerry GAA’s Aidan O'Mahony battle it out on the dancefloor to be crowned Ireland’s first Dancing with the Stars winner.

As part of the finale, all the previous couples eliminated returned for one last group dance and British pop-rock group The Vamps made a special performance.

In an Interview IFTN did with the ShinAwiL CEO before the start of the series in January Larry Bass, had said: “I think it’s a fantastically brilliant show to bring to Ireland and I’ve wanted to bring it here for many many years. I think it’s one of the few shows that the whole family can sit down and enjoy everything from the glamour of the show to the competition within it. It’s been proved to be an exciting show by running for over 14 years in the UK, there have been 14 seasons. It’s actually growing its audience and I’m delighted to be bringing it to Ireland.

“I think once Irish people get to see Irish celebrities taking on fairly intricate dancing, obviously with the help of professional dancers. It’s amazing to watch these journeys unfold. We’ve been watching them unfold for many weeks in rehearsals and it will be fantastic to see it for real on Sunday nights.”

‘Dancing with the Stars’ is still available to watch live and on demand on RTÉ Player, alongside ‘Dancing with the Stars’ extras, which features clips of each dance routine and RTÉ One Facebook ‘Behind the Scenes’ clips.

Production Company: ShinAwiL

Set Designer: Fiona Cunningham

Lighting Designer: Peter Canning

Show Director: Chris Power

Executive Producer: Larry Bass

Co-Executive Producer: Sheila Meaney

Head of Production is Eamonn Fox.

Post Production: Piranha Bar

Lighting Generators: Cine Electric

Post Work & Shows VT’s: Piranha Bar


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