Sunday 20 August 2017

Francis Brennan to go solo as brother John leaves RTE's At Your Service

Francis Brennan and his brother John outside the Kenmare Park
Francis Brennan and his brother John outside the Kenmare Park
Hotelier and television personality Francis Brennan. Picture by David Conachy.

Elaine McCahill

One of our most popular TV double acts is no more after hotelier John Brennan confirmed that the new series of RTE's At Your Service will be his last.

Over the past seven years John and his brother Francis have travelled the country with a camera crew in tow, trouble-shooting for distressed tourist business operators.

Hotelier and television personality Francis Brennan. Picture by David Conachy.
Hotelier and television personality Francis Brennan. Picture by David Conachy.

At Your Service has been a ratings winner, pulling in from 450,000 to 570,000 viewers every Sunday which, according to John, makes it RTE's third-most-popular series behind Love/Hate and Fair City.

However, he said yesterday that the next series - which is in the can and begins on Sunday - will be his last.

"I've loved At Your Service, but I can't continue with my increased commitments," he said. "There's too much happening. I just don't have the time for it."

John said the increased demands on his time arise from the brothers' five-star Park Hotel in Kenmare opening six weeks earlier than usual this year and the success of his Dromquinna Manor venture.

He added that Francis "probably will" continue with At Your Service.

"That all has to be decided yet, and RTE only give the go-ahead for a new series after seeing the figures for the latest one," he said.

Francis Brennan and his brother John at the Park Hotel in Kenmare
Francis Brennan and his brother John at the Park Hotel in Kenmare

"Viewers enjoy the banter between myself and Francis - we don't eff and blind.

"They also enjoy the personalities of the people wanting to change their business and whether they will make the changes."

John said that filming the seven series was "a fantastic experience", but added that he was not looking for a public profile out of it.

"The hotel here is our business and the TV was a side show for me. I'm not going to lose any sleep if I'm not on TV any more," he said.

John added that the series was shot between March and September every year, with each 24-minute episode involving seven days of filming.

"The show has been a huge success and it's nice to be leaving the party on a high," he said.

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