RETIRED DIRECTOR of strategy Rory Coveney said two things about his and RTÉ’s disastrous project, Toy Show The Musical, last week. The first was that he had received a lot of advice from people in the music industry and nobody said not to go ahead with it – echoes of Dee Forbes’s wail that she “did not at any stage act contrary to any advice”. Secondly, he described how Ryan Tubridy was supportive of the project but “did not have any interest in taking part”. Rory Coveney did not spell out what form Ryan’s ‘support’ for the show took last Christmas.
As Goldhawk noted then, the now-withering critics of RTÉ, its finances and Toy Show The Musical were not as hyper-critical at the time. The lavish and very expensive production was described as the “perfect recipe… an instant Christmas classic” (Irish Examiner) and Evoke warned punters: “Pack the tissues! It’s a roller coaster of emotions.” Meanwhile, RTÉ Radio 1’s Shay Byrne “was blown away”.
Goldhawk also noted how RTÉ, faced with weak demand for tickets to the show, “resorted to offering discounts to its client base and has been sending out exciting, cut-price invitations to advertisers and others with whom they do business”.
Tubs, meanwhile, on being apprised of the show’s difficulties at the time, oozed sympathy, telling the Irish Independent: “My job is [fronting on RTÉ television] The Toy Show, so the musical… it’s not mine so I’m not in it or anything like that. But I wish them well,” he graciously added.
This merely underlines how Ryan always had his RTÉ colleagues at the forefront of his mind when it came to commercial matters.