Monday 16 December 2019

TV3 tight-lipped on plans for Blind Date episodes featuring Al Porter

Al Porter
Al Porter
Al Porter.
Melanie Finn

Melanie Finn

TV3’s head of programming is keeping tight-lipped on its plans for the six remaining episodes of Blind Date featuring comedian Al Porter. 

Bill Malone was keeping his cards close to his chest when asked if the station had “ditched” all the unaired shows hosted by the former Today FM presenter. 

Porter had a huge fall from grace after being at the centre of a wake of allegations of inappropriate behaviour, opting to quit his radio gig and take a step back from public life for a while.

When asked about the shows that it had not yet aired, Mr Malone said: “I’m going to stick on message, I’m only talking about the spring launch at the moment. 

Bill Malone
Bill Malone

“There was never any plans for Blind Date on the spring schedule. That’s all I’ll say for the moment.” 

He was speaking at the launch of TV3’s spring 2018 schedule, where he unveiled some of the top shows in store for viewers over the coming months. 

It was also confirmed that TV3 will re-brand itself as Virgin Media Television in the second quarter of this year. 

TV3’s managing director Pat Kiely said it would mean “more connections with viewers and more opportunities for advertisers”.

In 2015, the station was bought by Liberty Global, the parent company of Virgin Media, for a reported €80m. 

Meanwhile, all eyes will be on its new Saturday night entertainment show Ireland’s Got Talent, which will debut on Irish screens on February 3.

Presented by Lucy Kennedy and featuring judges Louis Walsh, Michelle Visage, Jason Byrne and Denise Van Outen, it is the biggest financial investment ever made by the station.

In what should prove a popular date for the broadcaster, TV3 will also kick off its NatWest Six Nations coverage on the same day, with Ireland taking on France.

In 2015, the station managed to outbid RTE for the exclusive rights to air all 15 matches live for a period of four years.

Its coverage will be hosted by Joe Molloy and feature Ronan O’Gara, Shane Horgan, Alan Quinlan, Shane Jennings and Matt Williams.

Radio presenters Matt Cooper and Ivan Yates are also in for a boost, given that their Tonight show will be extended to four nights a week,  and will now air on Monday nights.

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