RTÉ has said that The Den will not be returning with a new season "at this time".

In a statement on Tuesday night, RTÉ said: "The return of The Den to our screens was a huge success on RTÉ One, however there are no plans for a new season at this time."

RTÉ added that it will not be making any further comment outside of the statement.

The show was expected to return to Sunday nights this January after host Ray D'Arcy broke the news in July on his RTÉ Radio One show during a chat with his co-star Dustin the Turkey.

Last year, Zig and Zag reunited with Dustin and Ray for the first time since they appeared together to present the afternoon kids show on RTÉ2 in the 1990s.

The new Den became a Sunday night favourite during lockdown last year with guests including Stephen Fry and Mark Hamill calling in via Zoom to take part in the unscripted mayhem.

Double Z, the company behind Zig and Zag and many other television projects, have tweeted their disappointment at the decision.

"Well, sad news to report today. 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 show returned for a one-off special for RTÉ Does Comic Relief but proved such a hit that it returned for a full series of six episodes during the second Covid-19 lockdown at the end of last year.

Speaking about The Den's revival earlier this year, Ray said, "I never even dreamt that The Den would be back together but when it happened with RTÉ Does Comic Relief there was such an outpouring of love for it and then people started chatting.

"Then we were in the second lockdown and people said, 'Do you know what we need? We need a bit of distraction, we need a bit of craic we need a bit of silliness’," he added.

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