Last night, (May 31st, 2018) the stars of Irish TV descended upon the RDS for the 2018 IFTA Gala Television Awards. Among the hopeful attendees looking to get their hands on one of the esteemed awards were Room To Improve's Dermot Bannon (who traded in the high-viz and hardhat for a slick black tux), maître d' of the First Dates restaurant, Mateo (who also swapped his trademark blue suit for black tie), and a few of the members of Team COCO that put it all together behind the scenes. The night ended in celebration, with Room To Improve picking up the awards for best Factual programme.
We headed into the annual ceremony, fingers crossed and hopes high, with RTÉ One's Room To Improve nominated in the best Factual category and RTÉ2's First Dates up for best Reality. While the Dermot Bannon-fronted renovation series was looking to pick up its first IFTA award after 11 years on air, having built its way up to becoming a staple of Irish Sunday night TV since its debut in 2007, First Dates hoped to follow up last year's success by picking up its second IFTA in two years.
Although First Dates ended up just losing out to the excellent Gogglebox, the night ended in celebration for Team COCO, with RTÉ One's hit architectural renovation series ultimately earning the award for best Factual series. Dermot and co. took to the stage to accept the award, with Dermot delivering a heartfelt speech, dedicating the award to the late Michael Stokes. Tune in to TG4 tomorrow night (June 2nd, 2018) at 9.25pm to catch coverage of the ceremony.
A few glasses of champagne (and a few sore heads) later, we'd like to send a big – albeit slightly hungover – thank you to everyone for all their support for the show and for all the kind messages. Here's to building on the success so far and to many more years of Room To Improve!