Sunday 25 August 2019

'There will never be another co-host on my show', says Pat Kenny

Colette Fitzpatrick left as co-host last year

Newstalk’s Pat Kenny and TV3’s Colette Fitzpatrick. Pic: Brian McEvoy
Newstalk’s Pat Kenny and TV3’s Colette Fitzpatrick. Pic: Brian McEvoy

Sean O'Grady

Pat Kenny has said he will never have another co-host on his TV3 programme because it's a "one-person show".

The Pat Kenny Show debuted last year as Pat Kenny Tonight, with Colette Fitzpatrick serving as co-host.

The programme's title quickly drew criticism from viewers, who wondered why Fitzpatrick's name was not included.

Fitzpatrick soon departed to front TV3's news output, but Kenny has insisted no one will replace her.

Pat Kenny and Colette Fitzpatrick on the set of Pat Kenny Tonight. Photo: Brian McEvoy
Pat Kenny and Colette Fitzpatrick on the set of Pat Kenny Tonight. Photo: Brian McEvoy

The former RTE star (69) said the show did not warrant a second presenter as it was only one hour long, commercial breaks included.

"No, it's a one-person show," he said Kenny. "Last year when Colette left there was the option of maybe trying to do something else.

"But we found that, in the hour, we have two commercial breaks and it's actually quite a short show.

"You have Gogglebox at one end and then The Tonight Show. The show needs to gallop along."

Despite the flak over the programme's original name, Herald columnist Fitzpatrick insisted she had always known it was going to be called Pat Kenny Tonight.

"Without sounding ageist, Pat has more experience than me," she said last year.

"He has nearly three decades on me, so obviously he's the lead role on this. It doesn't mean I'm going to be doing very little. I have a substantial role."

Aside from the name, not much has changed for the show's second series, with Kenny saying it is still at the mercy of the news cycle.

"The set has been modified slightly and the lighting. The title has changed to The Pat Kenny Show and that's pretty much it," he said.

"After that, you're at the mercy of events or whatever is happening. You might have a programme planned for Wednesday and then something happens on Wednesday and you throw the plan out the door."

Kenny is expecting some gripping conversations to keep viewers hooked in the coming months.

He predicted next year's planned referendum on the Eighth Amendment would be a major talking point.

"We will have a big post-Christmas Repeal the Eighth season because the Taoiseach has promised a referendum in the first half of next year," he said.

"That will be big and probably contentious so we will undoubtedly cover that.

"And then, who knows when an election will be sprung on us?

"I don't think it will, but you can't rule out anything."

Speaking about his 10 years at the helm of The Late Late Show, Kenny said he still looked back on that period with fondness.

"I loved doing The Late Late Show. It's long. It's two hours long and it's a show that has all the elements," he said.

"It's current affairs, showbiz. It has interviews of great sensitivity followed by something very showbizzy.

"You're a master of ceremonies. It requires a whole array of skills and that's why it was such a fun thing to do."

The Pat Kenny Show airs on Wednesdays at 10pm on TV3.

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