Singing astronaut to launch Pat Kenny's new TV show
Pat Kenny's new chat show 'In the Round' is set to be out of this world, if his first guest is anything to go by.
Singing Astronaut Chris Hadfield is the first big name to feature in Kenny's upcoming 13-part UTV Ireland series.
Hadfield seemed impressed with Pat Kenny's research skills as he made his way into Dublin's Mansion House. "He's done his homework for sure," he said. "I met him earlier today and he knows a lot about me."
Hadfield became a household name after performing a version of David Bowie's 'Space Oddity' from the International Space Station.
He captivated his Twitter followers with a host of images tweeted from space, including aerial vistas of landscapes including our own island. And he became particularly popular in Ireland when he sent the first-ever tweet 'as Gaeilge' from outer space in 2013.
His interest in all things Irish even saw him named as an ambassador for Irish tourism. Last night, Hadfield admitted he was looking forward to reflecting on his life and career with Kenny as part of the new show.
"It's rare that you get an hour to reflect on your life and delve back into things, so I am looking forward to the conversation and the shared discovery," he said.
Hadfield will attend his daughter Kristen's PhD commencement ceremony in Trinity College Dublin this afternoon.
"She'll be a doctor tomorrow and her mother and I couldn't be prouder," he said. "So there's lot of exciting things happening on the trip."
Hadfield will also attend a book signing in Eason's on St Patrick Street in Cork on Saturday.
Kenny's new show, shot in front of a live studio audience of 150 people, is due to air in early May.
As audience members gathered outside the Mansion House's Round Room, there was plenty of speculation as to what lay in store.
"We had to sign a confidentiality form beforehand, so that's added to the curiosity," Catherine Healy from Portmarnock said. "I think everyone is interested to see who appears in the series and how Pat will do."
Siobhan McGinly (24) from Dublin admitted she had spent a few hours Googling potential guests.
"Whoever it is I'm sure it'll be a fun night," she said.
There have been rumours that Brian O'Driscoll, Bono and Martina Navratilova will appear later on in the run.
In an interview with UTV Ireland, Kenny described the series as "fresh".
"I hope the atmosphere on air will be clutter-free, intimate and relaxed."
The series has drawn comparisons with Piers Morgan's 'Life Stories' programme, but the production team behind it insist it is a unique product.
The show is being directed by Pat Cowap - who previously worked on RTÉ's 'Saturday Night Show'.