| 12.4°C Dublin

Why our vets and pets are set for stardom

IRISH vets and pets are set to become stars overseas. TV3 has sold the rights to the first series of its home produced series Ireland's Animal A&E to the Discovery Channel.

The Herald can reveal that the station has negotiated a lucrative deal with the UK channel, which plans to broadcast the first 14 episodes of the series presented by Andrea Hayes and Michael Hayes later this year.

The series documents the daily routine of some of Ireland's busiest veterinary clinics with TV3 cameras going behind the scenes.

It's filmed on location at UCD Veterinary School, on the road with the ISPCA and at Bray Veterinary Clinic.

Already this year TV3 has sold home-produced series Ireland's Crime Capitals to a station in Australia, Nick's Bistro to a New Zealand-based operation and Bullied To Death: The Tragedy of Phoebe Prince to channels across Europe.

TV3 bosses are hoping that this latest acquisition with Ireland's Animal A&E could now see them match last year's operating profits of €2m, which they achieved by cutting costs aggressively, reducing staff numbers from 250 to 200 and salary cuts across the board.

In contrast, rivals RTE recorded a €16.5m deficit last year due to a 40pc plunge in TV ad prices.

"This deal is both an editorial and a commercial success. It shows that TV3 makes programming of an international standard, and commercially it funds TV3 productions to increase its output," TV3's Ben Frow said.


Co-presenter of the series Andrea Hayes says she and her colleague, former How Low Can You Go star Michael Hayes, were ecstatic that they will be gracing the small screen across the water.

Andrea said: "It's a great boost of confidence for us and we're looking forward to coming back with an even bigger and better second series this autumn. It's been really popular with viewers and we had over 1.7million viewers at its peak during the first series.

"We're also hoping to do a Christmas special this year where Michael and I would be heading to Lapland to film with the reindeer.

"Michael and I only get to film the tops and tails of the show together usually as he's based in UCD while I'm travelling around the country so it would be nice to film a film show together."

The up-and-coming presenter has also been invited to join forces with colleague Anna Daly for the Arthur Guinness Day celebrations, which will see them broadcast from a location yet to be confirmed in Ireland on September 23.