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TV3 nabs Pat Kenny for current affairs show - and everything else you need to know about its new schedule

Here’s what’s coming up on TV3 in the new season…

Image: Brian McEvoy

Updated at 2pm

PAT KENNY IS to return to our TV screens – and team up with his former general election leaders’ debate partner Colette Fitzpatrick.

The pair will front a brand new TV3 current affairs show, the station announced today at the launch of its upcoming season of programmes.

Kenny and Fitzpatrick will be the joint hosts of the new current affairs show, which will air on TV3 on Wednesday nights.

The former Late Late Show host was last seen on our screens when he teamed up with Fitzpatrick for a series of leaders’ debates during the election race in February.

Speaking today, Kenny said he thought about joining the broadcaster “for about ten seconds” before deciding to co-host the show.

According to the station:

The show will provide in-depth analysis on national and international issues and will feature live interviews with the big newsmakers of the day in front of a studio audience.

Rumours had been circulating in recent months that Kenny was getting set to rival Prime Time (which airs on Tuesday and Thursday nights on RTÉ One) with a new show, given the veteran presenter had cut his ties with UTV Ireland in 2015.

He is currently a presenter on Newstalk.

The new show was one of a raft of new announcements made at the launch of the new TV3 autumn schedule today:

  • Deirdre O’Kane and Rory Cowan will be the voices behind Gogglebox Ireland 
  • Red Rock will move to a later one-hour primetime slot on Monday evenings (9.30pm)
  • Lucy Kennedy will “live with” Republic of Ireland footballer Shane Long, singer Kerry Katona and comedian Al Porter in a new Living with Lucy
  • Robin Gill and Daniel Clifford will be the two new Celebrity Masterchef judges
  • David McWilliams returns to Tv3 with Agenda, a new business show that will feature high profile international events (Sunday lunchtime)
  • New three-part drama Smalltown will begin tomorrow (1 September)
  • New series Donal McIntyre: Unsolved will look at the cases of Amy Fitzpatrick, Annie McCarrick and Trevor Deely.
  • Paul Williams: War on Crime will be a two-part series looking at the history of organised crime in Ireland and compare the events of 1996 – when Detective Garda Jerry McCabe and journalist Veronica Guerin were killed – with today’s gangland killings

Purple reign

The schedule was launched at the National Concert Hall in Dublin city centre at lunchtime – on a stage replete with concert-grade lights and effects (dry ice included).

Group Managing Director Pat Kiely kicked off proceedings, telling media, advertising clients and other guests in the audience that it was Ballymount’s most ambitious schedule ever.

The increased investment in programming, he said, had been made possible by the investment of Virgin Media, which bought TV3 last summer for a reputed pricetag of €80 million.

Introduced on stage by this afternoon’s host, Deirdre O’Kane, Pat Kenny said the station’s new current affairs show would be “surprising” and that audience tickets would be publicly available.

Asked what the programme would cover, he said it would respond to breaking events in any given week.

“Who would have thought that Pat Hickey would end up in jail?” Kenny asked, discussing how the show might have tackled the various Olympic controversies.

“If it were this week we would be chasing down the Pat Hickey interview,” his co-host, Fitzpatrick, added.

With issues like Brexit, “the possibility of a President Trump”, and uncertainty in government to discuss, it was an ideal time to begin a new current affairs venture, Kenny observed.

Other programmes

X Factor, Xposé, the UEFA Champions League, Ireland AM, Midday, The Seven O’Clock Show, Saturday and Sunday AM, Britain’s Got Talent and Big Brother will all return to the station, as will Tonight with Vincent Browne. The latter will begin at an earlier time of 10.30pm.

The new announcements are part of TV3′s “ambitious growth plans”, the station said today.

Read: Here’s the most important piece of advice Gay gave Pat about The Toy Show>

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About the author:

Aoife Barry and Daragh Brophy

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