Dismissal prompts TV3 to axe telethon with Neeson
Published 26/07/2011 | 05:00
A TELETHON fronted by Hollywood star Liam Neeson has been cancelled following the sacking of UNICEF executive director Melanie Verwoerd.
The show, due to air on TV3 in October, was expected to raise substantial donations for the children's charity.
The Irish Independent has learnt TV3 was negotiating a two-hour broadcast fronted by actor Neeson -- a UNICEF Goodwill Ambassador -- and featuring many of his celebrity friends.
However, Ben Frow, TV3's director of programming, said yesterday the telethon would not happen because Ms Verwoerd had left UNICEF.
"Melanie had a fantastic contact book in terms of celebrities, who were all very interested in taking part," Mr Frow said. "But the telethon is not going to happen now as she is no longer with UNICEF.
"Melanie had put a considerable amount of work into this and I have no plans to revisit this without her."
Ms Verwoerd had also been due to travel to Mozambique this Thursday with Neeson to draw attention to the humanitarian crisis there.
But sources said this was now unlikely to go ahead.