Friday 24 November 2017

Half three will never be the same again . . . Open House RIP

Martha Kearns

TEARS were shed last night as RTE's popular day-time show, Open House closed its doors for the final time.

Mary Kennedy and Mary Whelan, who were co-presenters on the show since it first came on air six years ago, were guests of honour at a special celebration at the Mansion House last night.

It came just hours after an emotional finale to the programme which sparked a vigorous campaign by the programme's legions of fans to save it after the news came that it was going to be axed.

Fr Aiden Troy, most famous for his roles in the Holy Cross stand-off and as a character witness for Dermot Laide the man convicted of the mansalughter of Brian Murphy, was the final guest on yesterday's last ever show.

After the interview, the two presenters said goodbye to their loyal audience, holding hands as they stood in front of Open House's contributors and crew who gathered behind them.

Gerry Fish and the Mudbug Club finished the show off with "True Friends" after Mary and Marty thanked the audience for their

Marty Whelan thanked all of the crew and their "pals in the office for an amazing six years. We enjoyed every minute of it and want to thank everyone for all the best wishes we have received", said Marty, who will now go on to host RTE's coverage of the Eurovision in Turkey and will return in the autumn to host Fame and Fortune.

Mary, a former secondary school teacher and newsreader on Radio One, is to take up her new job as co-presenter on Nationwide in the autumn and said she was looking forward to her new job but sad to say goodbye to Open House.

"It's only when it was coming into the final week that I really took it in that it's over.

"It will be tough saying goodbye to the people I worked with, but no more than when I left the teaching, we'll stay in touch."

"I'll miss working with Marty.

"I think I am a good foil for his wit and we don't take ourselves too seriously which helps.

"We are friends as well and do go out together on occasion so that will continue."

And she said all the team were looking forward to finishing off in style last night with "a good party".

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