Monday 23 April 2018

TV3's new schedule risks over Xposuré

Launch party: Ireland's Got Talent host Lucy Kennedy with Blind Date's Al Porter as TV3 unveiled its programming plans for the autumn. Photo: Brian McEvoy
Launch party: Ireland's Got Talent host Lucy Kennedy with Blind Date's Al Porter as TV3 unveiled its programming plans for the autumn. Photo: Brian McEvoy
Fond of bubbles: Nigella Lawson dubbed the drink Prozacco
Michael Phelps
Kirsty Blake Knox

Kirsty Blake Knox

Xposé seems like such a curious Celtic Tiger enigma.

It was a by-product of all that 'what-were-we-thinking?' headiness, but it began airing slightly too late (2007) to be part of the excess. Or, perhaps, even to understand it.

As a result, it's always felt to me as if it were just a beat out of time, and a moment out of place. In theory I really want to like the show; it's female orientated, hosted by women and produced by women.

But, I just can't get fully on board. I suppose I tuned out four years ago after watching a four-minute news segment about a shop in Dublin that had started selling Yankee Candles. That was the story. In its entirety.

It was followed by a style item on fashion's "most versatile game changer" - the zip.

"Is there anything a zip can't do?" a hysterical stylist asked us.

But Xposé has managed to hold on to its place in the schedule for 10 years through a mixture of gloss, grit and its reliance on the (very) hard sell. Everything is "the biggest", "the hottest" and "the craziest".

Xposé loves jump cuts, and using phrases like "sneak peak" and "all that, and so much more". Off camera, I imagine the set being like an all-female version of a David Mamet play.

"A.I.D.A!" the producers scream in Glenda Gilson's face.

"Attention, Interest, Decision, Action. Attention - do I have your attention? Interest - are you interested? Decision - have you decided to buy a Yankee Candle yet?!! Aaaand, action!"

Over the years, there have been shake-ups and showdowns; presenters being booted out or hoisted in. There's been a magazine, live shows, fun photoshoots and birthday parties in Krystle.

But with the number of episodes reduced in TV3's schedule, perhaps the writing is finally on the wall for Xposé.

The presenters definitely seemed on edge at the season launch. "No, no," Cassie Stokes said when approached by press. "I can't talk to any of you." The whole event felt a little bit strained. There was lots of fanfare and shiny lights, presumably to distract from the bad news that excellent soap Red Rock is about to be axed.

"Postponed," a TV3 spokesperson said. "Not axed." But none of the cast had shown up - undermining management's insistence that everything was hunky-dory.

Inside the auditorium, we heard about the "big reveals". While Vincent Browne has retired, it seems he'll still be an integral part of Ivan Yates and Matt Cooper's The Tonight Show. Yes, in an "unexpected twist", comedian Mario Rosenstock will play the part of Vincent.

"My first sketch will be Vincent sitting at home watching the show with a few cans of Dutch Gold," Mario said.

Matt and Ivan, or 'Mivan Yooper' as TV3's political editor Gavin Reilly has dubbed them, are TV's new power couple. "They're like Morecambe and Wise," Mario said. "Or Podge or Rodge,"

Cooper added, on stage, "or Zig and Zag". Just, you know, minus the laughs.

Lucy Kennedy will host Ireland's Got Talent (which, TV3 insist will be vastly different to The All Ireland Talent Show).

"Do we have Ireland's answer to Pudsey?!" Kennedy asked the crowd. Everyone chortled, but perhaps they should have been less dismissive of the late and great dancing dog.

With a book deal, self-titled movie, and royal engagements all under his collar, it could be argued that Pudsey had a more successful career than most of Ballymount's finest.

The star of the launch was Al Porter - the new host of Blind Date - who was on MC duties. He got brownie point from the press for telling TV3 boss Bill Malone to shut up and stop waffling on.

"I'm also pitching for other spin-off dating shows," he explained. "I could do one about unhappy wives called 'Groom to Improve'."

Towards the end of the day even Al had started to fatigue. "That's it - we're done," he said after the final showreel. "I've had enough. F**k off home."

Time to put the Prosecco on ice and save face...

Fond of bubbles: Nigella Lawson dubbed the drink Prozacco

A Prosecco smile sounds so innocent.

The sort of thing Penneys would print on a T-shirt along with the phrase "Retox to detox!!"

Or how you'd describe the flirty look a good-time-gal shoots you across a crowded bar.

But make no mistake Prosecco Smile is bad. Very, very bad.

This week, dentists revealed that quaffing bottles and bottles of sugar-filled sparkling wine is not great for those pearly whites.

The acidity, alcohol and sugar form a vortex of evil for your gnashers and will cause your teeth to dissolve away - leaving you with a smile like Sloth from The Goonies.

Dentists are likening the Prosecco Smile to the Mountain Dew Mouth - a condition suffered by folks living in Appalachia who are fond of the US carbonated, fluorescent-green soda.

Its popularity soared after 'Willy the Hillbilly' declared in a 1966 advert that the drink was guaranteed to "tickle your innards". Mmmm - tasty!

This is terrible news for ladies and gents, like myself, who really rely on Prosecco as a perfect 'filler drink'.

By that I mean it is socially acceptable to drink it at any time of the day, in any situation.

At breakfast, at lunch, there are even 'Prosecco n' Pilates' classes.

Sadly, there are no 'Old Fashioneds n' Pilates' classes - whiskey comes with some stigma attached.

Prosecco is also a great mood booster - so much so that Domestic Goddess herself, Nigella Lawson, dubbed it Prozacco.

On top of all that it's as cheap as chips - providing the chips you are buying cost over a fiver.

Perhaps that's why news of the Prosecco Smile hurt so bad - it was so close to being The One.

But nothing can be perfect, so with a heavy heart I concede that it may be time to put the Prosecco on ice.


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