Sunday 28 May 2017

'Viewing figures are not what makes UTV,' says anchor Alison Comyn

Alison Comyn
Alison Comyn
Ireland Live's Chris Donoghue and Alison Comyn
Pictured are Daniel and Majella O’Donnell at Willow House B&B, Drumcondra, Dublin 9. PIC: NO FEE, MAXWELLS
Alison Comyn
Niamh Horan

Niamh Horan

UTV Ireland anchor Alison Comyn has defended the station against its critics, saying "viewing figures aren't what makes us".

The Drogheda native was speaking as a spokesperson for UTV Ireland said that its 10 o'clock nightly news bulletin was attracting an average of 50,000 viewers a night, while its earlier programme was attracting half that.

Asked how she felt about bad press surrounding audience figures, Ms Comyn said: "The fact is that there has been great press as well. I have had amazing press. Personally I have never had any bad press, thankfully. Every now and again people throw in figures, but viewing figures are not what makes us."

She went on: "We are producing some absolutely amazing news programmes - personally. The rest of the channel is growing and growing and we are hoping we will be able to build on that."

Ireland Live's Chris Donoghue and Alison Comyn
Ireland Live's Chris Donoghue and Alison Comyn

Speaking at the Irish Film and Television Awards on Thursday night, where UTV was nominated in the news category alongside RTE, TV3 and the BBC, Ms Comyn said: "We are up there with TV3 and RTE and BBC in the same category. We were in very, very distinguished company, so we're just delighted . . . We were new kids on the block. . . So even to get a nod from the IFTAs is amazing. I certainly hope [we'll win it in the next few years].

"We are incredibly proud of our viewing figures. If you look at Monday night - where I had 80,000 or 90,000 viewers - they are seriously good figures for a programme that is still quite fledgling."

Speaking about the News: Ireland Live programme hitting the lowest figures in the six months since its launch last June when it pulled in just 4,700 viewers, Alison said: "That was one day. I feel frustrated that one day is the headline rather than 50, 60 or 80,000. . . We just get on and do what we do.

"We are a nation where it takes a while to get to know something. If anyone thought we were going to come in to a market and take all the viewers from TV3 and 90pc from RTE, that was never going to happen. We are our own brand. We are creating our own identity. We are gaining a really, really big audience and I am very happy about that."

Alison Comyn
Alison Comyn

Speaking about the departure of Newstalk broadcaster and her co-anchor Chris Donoghue from the UTV Ireland news team, she said: "I suppose it is disappointing. Chris made up his own mind about what he is going to do. He has been working ridiculously long hours and maybe that is not something you can sustain. I hope we will do more specials together."

Pictured are Daniel and Majella O’Donnell at Willow House B&B, Drumcondra, Dublin 9.
UTV Ireland today announced that filming is set to begin on a brand new travel show starring Daniel O’Donnell and his wife Majella.  The new six-part series called ‘Daniel and Majella’s B&B Road Trip’ is a reality travel show with a difference. The popular couple will take to the road visiting areas of natural beauty and taking in all that Ireland has to offer, while staying only in B&B accommodation throughout their trip. Filming will commence in early July and the show will air on UTV Ireland later this year
PIC: NO FEE, MAXWELLS.
UTV Ireland announces Daniel and Majella’s B&B Road Trip
UTV Ireland today announced that filming is set to begin on a brand new travel show starring Daniel and Majella O’Donnell.
The new six-part series called ‘Daniel and Majella’s B&B Road Trip’ is a reality travel show with a difference. The popular couple will take to the road visiting areas of natural beauty and taking in all that Ireland has to offer, while staying only in B&B accommodation throughout their trip.
Their B&B hosts will act as tour guides, showing them around the area and, as well as sharing stories across the dinner and breakfast table, local performers and characters will make cameo appearances for evenings of ‘craic agus ceoil’ with entertainment from Daniel and other local performers.
Speaking about the launch of the new series, Mary Curtis, UTV Ireland’s Head of Channel, said: “Daniel and Majella are hugely popular with Irish audiences and they are a fantastic couple who complement each other perfectly. Throughout the show, we will get to know them better as a couple, whilst seeing them as we have never seen them before. Their warm and fun personalities make them ideal hosts for this series. We are delighted to be welcoming Daniel and Majella to the UTV Ireland schedule and I think this series will resonate w
Pictured are Daniel and Majella O’Donnell at Willow House B&B, Drumcondra, Dublin 9. UTV Ireland today announced that filming is set to begin on a brand new travel show starring Daniel O’Donnell and his wife Majella.  The new six-part series called ‘Daniel and Majella’s B&B Road Trip’ is a reality travel show with a difference. The popular couple will take to the road visiting areas of natural beauty and taking in all that Ireland has to offer, while staying only in B&B accommodation throughout their trip. Filming will commence in early July and the show will air on UTV Ireland later this year PIC: NO FEE, MAXWELLS. UTV Ireland announces Daniel and Majella’s B&B Road Trip UTV Ireland today announced that filming is set to begin on a brand new travel show starring Daniel and Majella O’Donnell. The new six-part series called ‘Daniel and Majella’s B&B Road Trip’ is a reality travel show with a difference. The popular couple will take to the road visiting areas of natural beauty and taking in all that Ireland has to offer, while staying only in B&B accommodation throughout their trip. Their B&B hosts will act as tour guides, showing them around the area and, as well as sharing stories across the dinner and breakfast table, local performers and characters will make cameo appearances for evenings of ‘craic agus ceoil’ with entertainment from Daniel and other local performers. Speaking about the launch of the new series, Mary Curtis, UTV Ireland’s Head of Channel, said: “Daniel and Majella are hugely popular with Irish audiences and they are a fantastic couple who complement each other perfectly. Throughout the show, we will get to know them better as a couple, whilst seeing them as we have never seen them before. Their warm and fun personalities make them ideal hosts for this series. We are delighted to be welcoming Daniel and Majella to the UTV Ireland schedule and I think this series will resonate w

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