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Sheana - I haven't spoken to Blathnaid for almost a year

Afternoon Show frontwoman Sheana Keane has revealed she hasn't spoken to former co-host Blathnaid Ni Chofaigh in almost a year.

The RTE presenters infamously fell out over alleged bullying at the show and rumours of tensions on set.

And Sheana (34) said that she hasn't met up with Blathnaid since.

"I haven't seen her or spoken to her at all," she said. "I'm watching the All Ireland Talent Show and I think she's doing a great job.

"But no, we haven't been in the same place and haven't talked."

Sheana took an extended period of sick leave after the allegations but returned to the small screen with Maura Derrane (39) in September last year.

But the mum-of-two said that she has always decided to put her family before her career.

"For me, my personal life, my kids will always take priority," she said. "Look, it's a job, a job that I really love doing. And then there's my family and they are everything to me.

"If I ever have to draw the line between the two, it's obvious which one is going to win out," she added.

RTE sources have informed the Herald that the chat show is set to be shelved by management in favour of a newly formatted series. But despite the dogged rumours, Sheana said that the presenters are not taking the view that it will be chopped.

"Totally, totally blown out of proportion. We're not getting the axe. The series, or rather the time-slot, is simply up for re-tendering, that's all," she said. "It's all in the interests of fair play and that's a good thing. As far as I'm concerned, it's business as usual.

"Shows can often win a tender again, as was the case with Ear to the Ground," she added.

And she said that she was constantly open to new ideas for her future at the station.

"As presenters, we're flexible people and we're very comfortable and familiar with the way it all works," she said. "The Afternoon Show has been doing great in the ratings this year and it's going from strength to strength."

Fickle

Fellow presenter Maura also played down reports of the programme's demise.

"I need to clarify something. The reality is that RTE have to put the show out to tender after six seasons," she said.

"This is the reality. Because they're a public broadcaster, they have to do that so the show will go out to tender. We don't know what's going to happen.

"Of course we want it to come back but what are you going to do if it's not? It's a fickle business."

Blathnaid (38) left the programme last September after five years at the helm, citing health problems, but is being tipped to land her own chat-show next autumn.

clairemurphy@herald.ie


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