TV3 hires Dunphy for chat show


Competition between RTÉ and TV3 is set to intensify with broadcaster Eamon Dunphy confirmed as the host of a new talk show due to air this autumn on TV3.

TV3 ended months of speculation yesterday by saying that Dunphy had signed a contract to present the show following lengthy negotiations.

The show has no title yet, but it is expected to compete against RTÉ's flagship Late Late Show, presented by Pat Kenny. It is likely to go out on a Friday evening, possibly half an hour earlier than the Late Late Show.

It is the first time RTÉ has faced serious competition in the talk show format from an Irish broadcaster. Although the move represents a major risk for TV3, the show itself will be produced by an independent company.

Dunphy is more noted as a journalist and radio presenter, although he has a experience on television as a sports panellist and game show host on TV3's The Weakest Link.

Ironically, the team behind the programme will include Cillian Fennell, an ex-RTÉ producer who worked on the Late Late Show. It will also include Stuart Carolan, who worked with Dunphy on Today FM's The Last Word. He produced the programme on a regular basis and also participated in many of the comedy sketches.

Only a small number of entertainment figures visit Dublin each week and the stations will now have to compete furiously for the biggest names.

Advertisers reacted positively last night to the announcement, but said the show would have to prove itself.

"Eamon is a controversial name and no doubt big guests will want to come on his show. But the quality will have to be there, otherwise people will just drift away. Audiences are very fickle and there is plenty of competition in this space already, not just from RTÉ," said Mr Paul Moran, from the agency Mediaworks.