Boyzone are to be the surprise special guests on the final of RTÉ's All Ireland Talent Show which airs on Sunday 15 March, the Diary can reveal.

The appearance comes courtesy of the group's Shane Lynch, who is a judge on the show.

Why should we care? Well, ratings for the TV talent programme have been going through the roof since it started, leaving even RTÉ bosses mystified.

One station insider told me, "We don't really know if it's because the show is actually entertaining or whether people are just staying in more because of the recession."

The Diary says put your money on the Mulkerrins brothers, a trio of young lads from Inis Mor in the Aran Islands, to win the competition.

Our man in Montrose told us, "There is a lot of voting coming in from the west.

"The winner of the first heat, violinist Daithí O Dronaí, was from Co Galway. The Mulkerrins have that going for them as well as the trad vote and the fact that they're a family band appearing on a family-orientated talent show."