Dancing with the Stars judges Loraine Barry, Julian Benson and Brian Redmond have revealed their dream contestants for the hit RTÉ One show.

Returning for a second run after a hugely successful first season earlier this year, the Irish version of the international hit show won't be announcing its celebrity contestants until closer to broadcast.

But RTÉ Entertainment's Harry Guerin put the three DWTS judges on the spot while talking to them at the RTÉ Autumn launch at the Montrose studios, asking them who they'd love to see perform on the show.

"I could do it on behalf of my mother," said Loraine Barry. "It would be Daniel O'Donnell. My mother would love that."

Julian Benson had a few names on his hit list. "I would probably say Celia Holman Lee for that generation, but I'd also like to see Nathan Carter shake a foot or two on the thing," he said.

"And Miriam O'Callaghan, actually. I'd love Miriam. Miriam! I know you're a busy woman, but come on down and dance with me! Get those shoes on! We'd love you!"

Loraine Barry  chipped in: "Ray [D'Arcy] and Ryan [Tubridy] have the physiques actually," she noted, before Brian Redmond went with one of the chat show hosts.

"I would like to Ray, and I'll tell you why," he said. "Going back about 12 years ago, Ray and I were involved in a thing called Strictly Come Dating, which was in connection with the radio show.

"Ray got to watch us teaching people dancing and to pair them off, but never once did he put a foot on the floor himself. I'd like to see Ray give it a go."

The judges were also asked about the possibility of them going a bit easy on the contestants during season one. If the judges are too soft, they certainly responded forcefully to the suggestion

"We were very much who we are," said Loraine Barry. "When we auditioned, that's what they wanted. They wanted us to be us.

"And that's what I do very much in my world every day," she added. "And you have to call it as it is, because it gives the show greater integrity."

Julian Benson was keen to add that the judges are also a diverse lot: "We all bring something different to the table," he insisted. "We look at the dance very differently, in many ways.

"We look at certain aspects of it, but on the whole we're looking at the best performance. But if we were all the same it wouldn't be . . . Dancing with the Stars."

The judges were also knocked out by the overwhelmingly positive public reaction to the show, which has been one of the success stories of Irish TV in 2017.

"Very much so," says Loraine Barry. "And in many different age groups as well. It went from the children all the way to the grandparents.

"Everybody loved it and it was such a fabulous, family-entertaining show, that they could sit down at 6.30 on a Sunday evening and that they could watch."

Julian Benson noted: "There's something for everybody in the show. It took the hearts of everybody. From three-year-olds to 93-year-olds, everybody had a good time.

"Sure I'd be in Tesco and suddenly all these kids around me. And then you'd have the granny in aisle five getting the bread, going: Sure lookit the way that you talked to your man! Ah sure he was lovely and God love him.

"But that's what you want: you want to interact with people; you want to move people. I think that's what the show did."

Brian Redmond even had a rather bizarre experience at a petrol station.

"I had a guy about five or six weeks into the show, at about seven o'clock in the morning," he recalled. "He marched across the petrol forecourt and insisted that I leave Des Cahill alone.

"So, I don't what this guy does, but he's wearing a high viz jacket - probably going to do a tough man's job."