Monday 22 July 2019

Why Colette Fitzpatrick thinks Virgin Media Television were right to 'evolve' Pat Kenny's show

Colette Fitzpatrick Photo: Mark Condren
Colette Fitzpatrick Photo: Mark Condren
Aoife Kelly

Aoife Kelly

Colette Fitzpatrick has revealed why she thinks Virgin Media were right to axe Pat Kenny's weekly current affairs show.

It emerged last week that Kenny's regular Wednesday night slot on Virgin Media Television (formerly TV3)was being axed in favour of one-off debates with the veteran broadcaster on 'Pat Kenny's Big Debate'.

Colette Fitzpatrick co-hosted the show with Kenny for the duration of the first series but departed the programme before its second run earlier this year.

“I think debates are his strength,” she told press ahead of the launch of Virgin Media Television and new News at 8 bulletin on Thursday.

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

Speaking about the abortion debate Pat Kenny helmed on his show ahead of the referendum on the Eighth Amendment, she said, “It was [the best] by a country mile.  He knocked it out of the park.  It was informative, it was exciting. 

"He took no prisoners in the sense that he was very objective but he wouldn’t let anyone away with false information, so I think that’s where he’s at his best."

She said the move into debates is a "natural evolution" and said that the show had been up against another current affairs show on the station.

"I think they’re absolutely right in Virgin Media to kind of evolve that show," she added.

Pat Kenny will have a new show on the renamed channel. Photo: Gareth Chaney, Collins
Pat Kenny will have a new show on the renamed channel. Photo: Gareth Chaney, Collins

"It’s hard going filling a current affairs show every single week when we have another current affairs show on the station so it’s sort of a natural evolution for him."

She said she "can't wait" to see his debate on the upcoming presidential election and added, "I’m delighted for him and I think he’s absolutely thrilled.”

Asked whether or not she would like to host a programme like Pat's upcoming debates show in the future, she said, "maybe at some point".

“I wouldn’t rule it out but I think he’s got the market cornered at the moment," she said.  "But who knows down the line.”

Speaking to the Irish Independent on Tuesday Pat said he was delighted with the change.

"It's going to be all the big issues, instead of week-in week-out, whatever happens to be on the agenda," he said.

"We will fire up the big debate only when we have a really big thing - it certainly will be the presidential election, that's been announced today for October, the Budget, a general election, a health scandal, whatever it might be."

Virgin Media News launches on Thursday with a new look and the addition of a News at 8 nightly bulletin, anchored by Claire Brock.  Colette Fitzpatrick will continue to anchor both the 12.30pm and 5.30pm bulletins on the station.

Read more: Pat Kenny 'delighted' his new show won't be 'run of the mill'

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