RTE has said the unprecedented demand for tickets for its London-based 'Late Late Show' special was why hundreds of people who thought they were attending were left disappointed when they were told shortly beforehand they could not get in.
The special show featured guests such as Graham Norton, Imelda May and Barry McGuigan and had been flagged ahead of the new season of the 'Late Late Show'.
However, it emerged that hundreds of people were left disappointed when they arrived at the Westminster venue for the programme, only to be told they could not get in as the event was oversubscribed.
Among them was Ena Quinn, who told the Irish Examiner that as many as 500 people were waiting in a queue at 8pm, only to be told they could not enter.
An RTE spokesperson later explained that tickets had been allocated but they specified that it did not guarantee entry in what was a first-come-first-served basis.
Ms Quinn 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.
A shambles. Queued for 2.5 hours @RTELateLateShow, constantly told we would get in, hundreds turned away with no apology. @RTEPress staff were rude. Overscribing essential but not like this with elderly & pregnant women. What London Irish community? @ApplauseStoreUK @rtenews pic.twitter.com/ASfdyJBOAW— Pádraig Prendergast (@prendergast) October 12, 2018
The RTE spokesperson said: "Audience Tickets for The Late Late Show in London were allocated and managed by UK based company Applause Store. Www.Applause.com 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 no-shows 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 which has meant that regrettably we could not accommodate everyone with a seat in the venue. The demand for Late Late Show tickets is unprecedented."