Tuesday 17 September 2019

'Work for free if you want to be on TV,' says Xpose host Karen Koster

Karen Koster at the TV3 schedule launch
Karen Koster at the TV3 schedule launch
Karen Koster and Ruth O'Neill on Xpose.

Sean O'Grady

While many youngsters harbour dreams of making it big on the small screen, Karen Koster has warned they'd better be prepared to work for free if they want to make it on TV.

The Xpose host (35) has been with TV3 for over a decade, starting as a weather presenter on Ireland AM in 2004.

While many people think that those who work in television are making big bucks, Karen admitted it's the complete opposite for newbies.

She added that aspiring broadcasters should be prepared to make "loads of cups of tea" in the beginning.

Karen Koster and Ruth O'Neill on Xpose.
Karen Koster and Ruth O'Neill on Xpose.

"Harass people in the nicest way possible, work for free and make loads of cups of tea and ask good questions," she told the Diary.

Former Xpose star Aisling O'Loughlin previously admitted the pay cheque on the series was "not great" before she was axed, along with Lisa Cannon and Peter O'Riordan.

As well as new presenters Cassie Stokes and Ruth O'Neill and a new set, Xpose has seen even more recent changes - it has been moved from its usual 6pm showing to a prime-time slot.

"It's going great. We're in a brand new time slot so we're on prime time now. We're on Monday, Wednesday and Friday at 8pm and Tuesday and Thursday at 7.30pm, so everyone is upping their game," said Karen.

The Dubliner is confident the change to a later time will do great things for Xpose's ratings.

"This is something we've dreamed of, to be in a later time slot. We're hoping to keep that soap audience and give them what they want and deliver a positive, glossy slot," she said.

"TV3 now has Corrie and Emmerdale, so we're not worried at all. I think the soap audience is going to be into what we do. We have that soap audience anyway and we can really target them."

Karen gave her thoughts on Virgin Media's recent acquisition of UTV Ireland, with the company already owning TV3.

Although the move will mean some staff at UTV will lose their jobs, Karen remains positive that it's a good thing for both companies.

"To be able to get the biggest share of an audience is fantastic. There's always been really good momentum with TV3, even when we were sort of the underdog. Now it's a whole new chapter and it's a really exciting time," she said.

Karen is looking forward to spending the festive season with her husband John and their sons, one-year-old Finn and nine-month-old JJ.

"I'm really looking forward to Christmas. It's Finn's second Christmas so he's sort of getting it," she said.

"We've been planting the Santa seeds, and yesterday I brought him to see a house that was all lit up and he nearly lost his mind - and it's JJ's first Christmas, so he's just along for the ride."

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