Thursday 5 December 2019

Lucy Kennedy defends Late Lunch Live's low ratings down to scheduling

Martin King and Lucy Kennedy host Late Lunch Live on TV3
Martin King and Lucy Kennedy host Late Lunch Live on TV3

‘Late Lunch Live’ host Lucy Kennedy has defended the show’s poor ratings citing the slot in TV3’s daytime schedule as the problem.

The daily programme has failed to pull in strong viewership figures with an average of just 25,900 tuning in daily.

In comparison, RTE’s afternoon chat show ‘Today’ hosted by Maura Derrane and Daithi O’Se, has an average audience of 105,100.

‘Late Lunch live’ currently airs from 2:30 – 3:30pm, Kennedy believes if the programme was moved to a similar slot to ‘Today’ - around the 4:30 pm mark - TV3’s ratings would sky rocket.

“The ratings for the show are not amazing,” Kennedy admitted. “But that's nothing to do with content, it's to do with timing. The show is bang in the middle of the school run so it’s difficult to keep hold of people.

“That’s the problem. We lose a chunk of people who are en route to the school gate. It’s something we are discussing with the boss Jeff Ford.”

The future of ‘Late Lunch Live’ is currently up in the air with station bosses reviewing its ratings and market share on a month by month basis.

"We don't know if we have another season, the show is being monitored closely but it usually takes a year for a programme like this to find its feet and build up an audience," Kennedy said.

Regardless of whether the show is cancelled or not, Kennedy plans of staying at TV3 long term.

“I just got a contract with them and am staying put, it doesn't matter whether I'm making a TV show or working in the canteen, I'm not going anywhere” she joked. 

The mother-of-two previously worked in the freelance sector and now appreciates the security of a permanent job.

“Freelance is terrifying, you work from gig to gig and are constantly worrying about what’s you have lined up next. It can be exhausting.

It’s nice to have some security – especially with a four year old and two year old to take care of.”

Next year, TV3 will lose the rights to popular UK soaps ‘Coronation Street’ and ‘Emmerdale’; it will be a huge blow to the station's in terms of advertising but Kennedy believes the shake up will make the schedule more malleable for home grown programming.

“There will be lots of chance to develop home produced series. I’m already thinking of developing a series similar to ‘Living with Lucy’ or a dating programme.”

Kennedy was talking at the launch of Kellogg’s Grown Ups Go Free promotion which allows parents to visit well known museums and attractions free of charge.

“Those costs really mount up so something like this can help you have a family day out without breaking the bank,” she said.  

Lucy Kennedy at a Kellogg's photocall. Picture: Patrick Bolger Photography  

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