Former RTE star Pat Kenny has been announced as the star new addition to UTV Ireland.
The Newstalk presenter said he was “hugely excited” to be back on the TV, which will see him host a brand new current affairs show and take on Primetime.
It will go on the air from early 2015, is expected to be an hour in length, and Pat will still remain with Newstalk.
He said: “I’m hugely excited to be involved in this new start up. I will be part of the new team of UTV Ireland.
New bosses: Pat with the UTV Ireland team
“Newstalk was a huge change of new territory. It’s always difficult to move from a place of permanent location to somewhere new.
“But I’ve enjoyed it so far and people have moved the dial too. A year ago I made a commitment I would focus on the show for a year and build audiences.
“In terms of television the timing is perfect to return. I can promise you whatever I do it will be done with energy and passion. I want to get back out there and do something exciting and energetic.”
So far, there are no concrete plans on Pat’s new show, but he is looking forward to sitting down and working out ideas.
Back on box: Pat can’t wait to be with UTV and Newstalk
“We’ve already had some initial discussions on how we can produce an entertaining, enticing proposition that is compelling for viewers,” he said.
“During the next few months we’ll take what is effectively a blank canvas with some initial strands and shape it to create the best television possible.
“I know the output will reflect the passion, talent, creativity and the energy of the team at UTV Ireland and I’m delighted to be part of that team.”
Meanwhile, UTV Ireland have taken even more shows from TV3, it has been announced today.
The TV station have already got their hands on Coronation Street and Emmerdale – two of Ballymount’s biggest programmes.
Now it has emerged they have also bought the rights to I’m A Celebrity, The Jeremy Kyle Show, The Graham Norton Show and Ant & Dec’s Saturday Night Takeaway.
Making a move: Jeremy Kyle is now on UTV Ireland
Previously, Jeremy Kyle was flown over to Ireland to take part in the TV3 launch, the show was that important to them.
UTV Ireland also now have the rights for Mr Selfridge, The Cube and The Jonathan Ross Show for their launch on January 1, 2015.
ITV shows This Morning and Loose Women will also be broadcast on UTV Ireland – directly taking on Ireland AM and Midday.
New to UTV Ireland: Jonathan Ross will be on channel
Speaking at the launch, UTV Ireland Managing Director Michael Wilson said the new station “have ambition” to become number one in the Republic.
“Have no doubt we have ambition. Our programming content will be €600 million every year,” he said.
“This is only a taster, we will be revealing much more in coming weeks. As well as acquired programmes we will have homegrown content on the peaktime schedule including lifestyle, reality and entertainment programmes.”
He also revealed they will take on the RTE Player and TV3’s online catchup service with the launch of a UTV Player.