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Production News

Busy Weekend for RTÉ as 'Dancing With The Stars' & 'Striking Out' Return
05 Jan 2018 : Nathan Griffin
RTÉ have a busy weekend ahead with two of their flagship programmes returning for respective second seasons, this Sunday, January 7th.

RTÉ One’s ‘Dancing with the Stars’ makes its anticipated return this Sunday, January 7th. The ShinAwil production debuted to an audience of over 1.2 million viewers this time last year, holding an average audience of 640,000 viewers.

This year’s contestants include an eclectic mix of celebrities including: Comedian and actress, Deirdre O’Kane; Actor, 2FM presenter and comedian, Bernard O’Shea; Author and presenter, Maia Dunphy; RTÉ Sport broadcaster, Marty Morrissey; Businesswoman and broadcaster, Norah Casey; Fitness model, Erin McGregor; Former Munster rugby star, Tomás O’Leary; Former Rose of Tralee, All-Ireland winning Camogie player and Ireland’s Fittest Family coach, Anna Geary; Olympic bronze-medallist, Rob Heffernan; and finally, Singer-Songwriter, Jake Carter.

Behind the glitz and glamour of the 2 hour live show is a large production team coordinated by ShinAwiL. A crew of between 120-150 people will be involved in the overall production and filming of the series each weekend from the Ardmore Film Factory in Ardmore studios located in Bray, Co. Wicklow. 

Speaking with IFTN, John McHugh said:

"Dancing With The Stars was a hugely popular addition to RTÉ One's prime time schedule last year and Shinawil's production of the new series was outstanding.  Series two starts this Sunday at 6:30pm and I'm looking forward to our audience once again making it an appointment to view every Sunday evening."

Amanda Byram and Nicky Byrne will return to co-present while Loraine Barry, Julian Benson, and Brian Redmond will return to form the judging panel on the second series of the show, which is due to air on RTÉ One for 12 weeks from 6pm on Sunday, January 7th.



Following on from a very successful first season, ‘Striking Out’, staring Amy Huberman will resume its primetime slot of 9:30pm on RTÉ One.

Season 2 will see Huberman reprise her IFTA winning lead role as Dublin-based solicitor, Tara Rafferty. The show will also see the return of Rory Keenan (Peaky Blinders, War & Peace) as her former fiancé Eric and Neil Morrissey (The Night Manager, Line of Duty, Grantchester) as Tara's mentor and friend Senior Counsel Vincent Pike. Also returning are Tara's street smart and opinionated client-turned-assistant Ray Lamont (Emmet Byrne) and tech guru and private detective Meg Riley (Fiona O' Shaughnessy).

In the new second series Tara strikes back. Confidently now her own boss, morally challenging scenarios will test Tara and her team in their personal and professional lives. 

New actors joining the cast in the second series include Moe Dunford (Vikings), Maria Doyle Kennedy (Redwater), Charlotte Bradley (Veronica Guerin), Owen McDonnell (Dominion Creek, My Mother and Other Strangers), Adam Fergus (Clean Break) and Jane Brennan (Paula). 

The first series of Striking Out aired on RTÉ One in January 2017 and had a consolidated average of 576,100 viewers.  

IFTN caught up with Series Producer Yvonne Donohoe recently to chat about the upcoming season and what audiences can expect from the next instalment of ‘Striking Out’. (Feature to come)

Striking Out is produced for RTÉ by Yvonne Donohoe of Blinder Films with funding from the BAI Sound and Vision and international co-financing from DCD Rights and Acorn Media EnterprisesCreated by James Phelan the second series is written by Rob Heyland, Anna McPartlin and Mick Collins. The second series will be directed by Lisa James Larsson and Simon Massey. 

The Striking Out crew also includes:

Producer: Yvonne Donohoe
Executive Producer: Katie Holly
Series Creator: James Phelan
Writers: Rob Heyland, Anna McPartlin and Mick Collins
Directors: Lisa James Larsson and Simon Massey
Director of Photography: Frida Wendel
Costume Designer: Kathy Strachan
Casting Director: Maureen Hughes
Hair Designer: Martina McCarthy 
Make Up Designer: Denise Watson

Both seasons of the Irish drama made by Blinder Films have been acquired by Channel 5 from RTE via DCD Rights and will be aired on Channel 5's new channel '5Prime' in January 2018 following initial airing on RTÉ.

Yvonne Donohoe, producer of ‘Striking Out’ said:

 “We’re delighted that the wealth of Irish talent involved in front of and behind the camera in Striking Out will be showcased across the UK in the New Year. The whole Striking Out team worked very hard and put a lot of love into this series and I hope the 5Prime audience really enjoy it!”

DCD Rights have also already sold the series to Finnish broadcaster YLE, and confirmed recently that SunDance TV Global have acquired multiple territories for the second season.

‘Striking Out’ will air Sunday, January 7th at 9:30pm on RTÉ One.

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