Late Late ‘sham­bles’ — hun­dreds dis­ap­pointed at lock-out

Sunday Independent (Ireland) - - News - Ni­amh Ho­ran

“CAN’T talk, gotta go” and “I’m about to board a flight” were the scant words Ryan Tubridy of­fered when asked if he wanted to say any­thing to the hun­dreds of guests — in­clud­ing many el­derly — who were locked out of his show in Lon­don on Fri­day night.

More than 500 peo­ple ar­rived and queued at the West­min­ster venue for a Lon­don spe­cial of The Late Late Show, only to be told they could not get in as the event had been over­sub­scribed.

Among them was ITV This Morn­ing pro­ducer Padraig Pren­der­gast, who de­scribed the or­gan­i­sa­tion of the event as “a sham­bles”.

“I had or­gan­ised my flight home to Kerry but de­cided to stay on an ex­tra night to see the show,” he said.

“I should be go­ing home feel­ing elated but in­stead I’m just so dis­ap­pointed and an­gry with how RTE dealt with the sit­u­a­tion on the ground. There was no apol­ogy.

“There were el­derly peo­ple in the queue, there were preg­nant women, peo­ple had got­ten dressed up for it and then started queue­ing at around 4pm [five and a half hours ahead of show time]. And now I hear RTE are putting it back on [the UK com­pany] Ap­plause Store.

“Ap­plause Store is a very es­tab­lished com­pany — it man­ages tick­ets for all the big shows such as Bri­tain’s Got Tal­ent and The X-Fac­tor . So I don’t know with whom the fault lies. I think RTE need to come out and say they are sorry for what hap­pened and say they will sort peo­ple out in an­other way in the fu­ture.

“The fact is, there was no com­mu­ni­ca­tion on the ground. Also, an event like this will al­ways be over­sub­scribed for no shows on the night but on this oc­ca­sion it seemed to be heav­ily over­sub­scribed. They sold it as 1,200 fans got tick­ets but this fig­ure in­cluded the RTE guest list. It begs the ques­tion: how many fans ac­tu­ally got in with their Ap­plause Store tick­ets?”

This week­end, an RTE spokesper­son said tick­ets had been al­lo­cated but that was on a first come, first served ba­sis.

She said many peo­ple may have as­sumed, given the tick­ets spec­i­fied a dress code and ar­rival time, that they would gain en­try to the ea­gerly an­tic­i­pated show.

The RTE spokesper­son said: “Au­di­ence tick­ets for The Late Late Show in Lon­don were al­lo­cated and man­aged by UK-based com­pany Ap­plause Store.

“Ap­plause Store are ticket spe­cial­ists for UK TV au­di­ences. Tick­ets were al­lo­cated to ap­pli­cants stat­ing that it was not a guar­an­tee of en­try but seats would be al­lo­cated on the night on a first come, first served ba­sis. This is stan­dard in UK TV au­di­ence man­age­ment. How­ever, such was the de­mand for this one-off show that more peo­ple were left dis­ap­pointed than ex­pected.”

Ap­plause Store au­di­ence man­ager Mathew First said: ‘We have to over­sub­scribe our tick­ets to cover any noshows as all of them are free of charge and sadly not every­one uses them.

“We have, how­ever, ex­pe­ri­enced a higher than nor­mal turn-up rate... re­gret­tably we could not ac­com­mo­date every­one.”

TALK THE TALK: Gra­ham Nor­ton with Ryan Tubridy in Lon­don

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