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'Hello', 'Good evening' or 'Howya'? UTV's arrival is a big day for Irish TV

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Pat Kenny.

Pat Kenny.

Pat Kenny.

Counting down to a live TV show can be scary. For everyone. The floor manager counts from 5 to 1. The 5 and the 4 are said out loud, the 3, 2, 1 are done silently, holding their hand up.

And then it's just the presenter, talking to everyone at home.

Yes, going live is terrifying, but going live, on a brand new channel, has to be doubly nerve wrecking.

You appear in a space that never existed before, and your first words will go down as the opening line of that station.

On New Year's Day UTV Ireland will appear on our screens. I wonder what the first words will be? "Jayzus we made it" will probably be the sentiment behind the sentence, even if it comes across as something more upright, like: "Hello, we are here to kick some ass".

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I remember when Chris Evans arrived at Virgin Radio, at the height of his career. Millions tuned in to hear what he would say. He simply took a breath, and said "It's ok. I'm here". Confident, safe, funny.

No doubt the preparation for going live on UTV has seen everyone working hard, getting all the details right.

Its New Year's Day so there might be a little headache or two floating around the studio from the night before, or perhaps the good folk at UTV will resist the bubbles and wait until after their first day of broadcasting.

UTV Ireland mean business. They have been picking and poaching staff over the last few months - big draw Pat Kenny will present a documentary on its opening day.

They are clear about their target audience and intend to be here for a while.

And so as the countdown starts. At five seconds to whatever time they go live, all will be holding their breaths, ready to bring a new channel to life.

Whether its "Hello", "Good Evening" or "Howya", it will be very, very exciting.


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