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RTE gags Blathnaid from talking about Sheana's show worries

FORMER Afternoon Show host Blathnaid Ni Chofaigh has been gagged when it comes to discussing allegations of a bullying row between her and ex co-star Sheana Keane.

The Herald has learned the mum of four has been advised by Montrose powers to turn down all media requests, after it was revealed by this newspaper that she's in the running to host her own daily chat show next autumn.

Blathnaid (38), who is currently working as a judge on RTE's The All Ireland Talent Show, has been bombarded with invitations to speak about her role as a representative for the east of the country on the show. But with the exception of an appearance on the Late Late Show alongside Shane Lynch, Daithi O Se and John Creedon last December to publicise the Tyrone Productions series, the Meath Gaelgoir has turned down almost all interview requests, preferring to keep a low profile.

Blathnaid, who quit her slot on daytime TV last September citing ill-health concerns, was last week due to break her silence about the events of the past year.

The flame-haired presenter was scheduled to do a sit-down interview with a national magazine, a radio interview on 2fm and an appearance on RTE's Saturday Night Show. However a representative for the RTE presenter later contacted the various outlets to cancel but did not go into detail as to why she was pulling out.

"After months of staying under the radar Blathnaid was finally given the nod to do some promotional interviews for the show, but then the whole scandal about the alleged bullying row between herself and Sheana erupted again and put paid to that," said a station insider.

"As soon as it became public knowledge that the Afternoon Show was in jeopardy, Blathnaid found herself at the centre of all the press coverage once more.

"Sheana's comments to TV Now magazine about not speaking to her in over a year were the last straw. RTE bosses are determined to draw a line under all of that and decided that it would be best not to put Blathnaid in the firing line by having her do the interviews."

A spokesperson for the All Ireland Talent show confirmed they would not be setting up any other media opportunities with the star between now and the end of the series later this month.

Meanwhile, Blathnaid herself was remaining tight-lipped when asked about the prospect of presenting her own show recently.

"You lot seem to know more about it then I do," she told the Herald, when asked about the possibility.