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Claire Byrne in ‘awe’ of Irish quizzers ahead of Ireland’s Smartest show

“They can produce correct answers to some really tricky questions under the glare of the lights.”

Claire Byrne will host the new quiz show starting in April.

Níall FeiritearSunday World

Claire Byrne has described her amazement at the level of talent amongst Irish quizzers, as her new show ‘Ireland’s Smartest’ gears up for its TV debut in April.

As bookies slash the odds on Ms Byrne taking over from Ryan Tubridy on the Late Late, her attention has been fully focused on finding the person who will have the depth of knowledge worthy of winning the ultimate accolade of being ‘Ireland’s smartest.’

Producers trawled the length and breadth of the land in order to find the best contestants for the new show and Claire is astonished by how clever Irish people are.

“I was left in awe of these contestants from all over Ireland who can produce correct answers to some really tricky questions under the glare of the lights, in the intensity of the studio, in front of an audience and with the clock ticking all the while,” Ms Byrne said.

The popular radio presenter also gave a taste for what viewers can expect, as Irish television prepares to give the UK’s ‘The Chase’ a run for its money.

"We have found the cleverest people in this country to compete in a quiz that tests their knowledge and their nerve to the limit. This is a completely new type of show for me.

“It's great fun, with lots of tension and you'll get to test yourself against the best too from the comfort of your own sofa to see who will be awarded the title of Ireland's Smartest,” Claire added.

Claire is the top pick with betters for Late Late role.

The new ten part series starts Sunday, April 2, at 7:30pm on RTÉ One and RTÉ Player, as revealed by the Sunday World on March 6.

The new show will be based around knowledge, speed and strategy. In front of a studio audience, three contestants compete in each show and as they progress in the tournament structure - from the heats to the semi-finals to the final.

Ireland’s Smartest starts with a general knowledge round followed by a category round, with a chance of a bonus point each time a contestant buzzes in early with an answer.

The lowest-scoring contestant is eliminated before the final quick fire round, which sees the last two contestants face off in a head-to-head. This round uses a distinctive time-trial that sees the first contestant set a time that the other contestant must beat.

Host Claire began her varied broadcasting career with East Coast radio and then worked with radio stations in Jersey.

In early 2013, Byrne joined the current affairs programme, Prime Time, on RTE as an anchor joining Miriam O’Callaghan and Pat Kenny.

In 2014 it was announced that she would have her own current affairs show, Claire Byrne Live, which started the following year.

Claire is currently the bookies favourite to take over the hot seat for the Late Late, with odds standing at 6/4.

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