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Muppets Exasperation and relief greets RTE’s decision to cancel return of The Den

RTE confirmed in a statement on Tuesday night that there were 'no plans for a new season at this time', despite the show’s 'huge success'

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Ray and pals won't be returning

Ray and pals won't be returning

Ray and pals won't be returning

There has been a somewhat mixed reaction to RTE’s decision to cancel the return of the popular TV show The Den. 

Presenter Ray D’Arcy had hinted at a new season during his RTE Radio One show over the summer that fuelled speculation that it was to reappear on our screens this coming January.

However, RTE confirmed in a statement on Tuesday night that there were “no plans for a new season at this time”, despite the show’s “huge success”

During the height of the pandemic last year, Ray, alongside Dustin the Turkey, Zig and Zag to put on a series of The Den for the first time since the children’s show had aired on RTE2 in the 1990s.

The show was a resounding success, with a number of celebrity guests taking part in the revamped RTE series, including Stephen Fry, Nicola Coughlan, and Mark Hamill.

However, Double Z, the team behind Zig and Zag, were among the first to express their disappointment upon learning the news on Tuesday.

Taking to Twitter they said: “We found out from the bosses that #TheDen won’t be coming back after all! Thankz to all the old fans and the new ones for tuning in! We had a blast!”

The revelation prompted an outpouring of muted outrage from some quarters.

Ian Dempsey of Today FM criticised the move, tweeting: “Popular TV, perfect for all the social platforms too, inexpensive to produce and enticing a new young audience. Why drop it?”

Comedian Sinead Quinlan, who had landed a role as The Den’s roving reporter, also shared her dismay, adding: “Somebody make it make sense.

“My head hurts trying to understand this since I heard the news. These bais brought nothing but joy in the darkest of times. Highlight of my life working with my Den family. Love you guys.”

“That’s ridiculous,” another fan stormed. “It was so good and the one RTÉ show my 4 year old loved. She’d ask every day when are Zig & Zag on again. Strangely enough she wasn’t all that interested in the 'let’s go on a humourless heritage trail nature walk guys' style of show RTÉ aims at kids.”

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“Absolutely abhorrent decision when you see the tripe that @rte are putting on our screens,” added another, as they called for a petition to #BringBackTheDen.

“This is most disappointing news,” one person stated. “As we head into the dark nights of an Irish winter I was really looking forward to another series of #theden. It was great last year, for both nostalgic adults and kids joining the mayhem for the first time.”

However, one approving voice said: “Good keep it in the past! It’s an 80s phenomenon. You can’t bring back something already done. I hate the way they rehash things from my childhood. They did this in the 90s with my mother’s era. Stop and create something new. It’s not called an imagination for nothing!”

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