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Off the rails live show cancelled

Annual fashion-fest Off The Rails Live has been ditched after seven years -- and its dates offered to TV3 rival Xpose Live.

The news of the spin-off event's cancellation comes as gossip circulates that the long-running RTE series, currently hosted by stylists Sonya Lennon and Brendan Courtney, is facing the chop.

And in a further blow, rival fashionista favourite Xpose Live has been approached to take over the RDS dates left vacant by the cancellation of Off The Rails Live, following the TV3 show's extremely successful weekend in the Ballsbridge venue in April.

An inside source told the Herald: "Yes, the live show has been cancelled. Off The Rails Live did quite well itself last year but the exhibitors there were very unhappy because they didn't make any money and that is a very important factor of these events.

"We're not sure yet what will take over the event but the organisers of Xpose Live are considering the dates -- we don't know yet what sort of event it will be but it will definitely be something interactive."

A spokesperson for Xpose Live confirmed they had been approached to take over the block-booked dates in November -- but insisted nothing is certain yet.

"I doubt it, just because we just did one in Cork. The event there worked incredibly well but the venue was so small we could have sold it three times over. If we can find a big enough venue in Galway or Limerick we might go there instead."

A spokesperson for RTE said: "With regards to the series, we won't be announcing details of our autumn/winter schedule until our Autumn Launch in August. In relation to the live show in the RDS it's too early to comment on any future plans."

But an exhibitor, who prepaid to have a stall at this year's live event, told the Herald that organisers contacted them yesterday to tell them it would not be going ahead.

The source said: "We got a phone call telling us that this year's event would not be going ahead in November and asking whether we would like to still have our stand at its replacement."

Confirmation that Off the Rails Live -- The Total Experience has been cancelled has sparked fresh doubts about the future of the TV show, which was originally presented by Pamela Flood and Liz Bonnin.

Caroline Morahan later took over from Bonnin and was at the helm of the series during its most successful years, before both she and Flood were dumped in favour of respected stylists Lennon and Courtney. Calls to the pair were not returned.